The Wayne Aquatic Center started off on the right foot after its July 10 ground breaking ceremony. With more than 200 people said to have been in attendance, over 60 of those were local kids. The ground breaking featured speakers such as Joel Hansen, city planner, and Lowell Johnson, city administrator. However, this wasn’t your typical ceremony.

Instead of only committee members breaking ground, there were a few more hands involved. City staff outlined in white paint the future aquatic center. With the outline in place, everyone brought shovels and were instructed to stand on the white line. Hansen went through where the aquatic features will be located in the new pool and described what it will look like. After the brief overview, adults and children alike all broke ground together for their community’s project.

Dave Henke, JEO project manager, said, “I’ve been to numerous ground breakings in my career, but I have never been to one like this. This was way more elaborate. It was great to see the kids be involved in the start of the project and be excited about a new pool they’ll get to use in a year.”

Wayne’s current aquatic facility is about 60 years old with small issues adding up throughout the years. Four years ago, after it was determined a new pool was desired, a pool steering committee was formed. JEO completed an aquatic study in January 2014, after which the city implemented a half-cent sales tax to help fund the project. With the study completed and funding in place, JEO is excited to work with the community to bring their vision to life.

The new 6,874 square foot facility will feature a slide, two diving boards, six racing lanes, ground sprays, and a play structure. The facility will be connected to the city’s activity center, which allows for more money to be spent on the $2.65 million pool itself, rather than construction of a bathhouse. Also, within walking distance from the elementary and high school, it is in a great location for the community.

The expected opening day is in June 2016. If you find yourself in Wayne next summer, be sure to check out the new facility.