Grove City residents will soon be able to experience an improved community swimming facility.
The Big Splash Family Aquatics Center, 2831 Southwest Blvd., is scheduled to open the 2013 swimming season at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25, giving attendees their first chance to see the upgrades and improvements made to the facility.
"The park looks completely different," city aquatics coordinator Tim Baker said. "It looks a lot more modern."
Among the changes made at the Big Splash are the construction of a stage, the removal of the sand play area, new all-metal chairs and new geometric shade structures.
"We took down the old umbrellas," Baker said. "(The new setup) brings a lot more color and shade to the park."
The stage is scheduled to be ready by opening day when it will be broken in from 2 to 2:30 p.m. with a performance by the band Endless Recess, a central Ohio group that plays upbeat, interactive songs.
During the season, the stage will be used for Theme Thursday. Every Thursday will feature a different subject, such as Pirate Day, and will include special activities, games, crafts, guests and other surprises. The schedule is still being finalized, Baker said.
"We're really going to utilize that stage," he said.
The opening of the Big Splash will also see the launch of the new zero-waste initiative at the park to cut down on the amount of waste the facility produces and to recycle more.
"In years past, we were (recycling) plastic bottles," Baker said. "This year, we're trying to do much more ... we're taking a good, hard look."
Baker said staffers are excited about the changes made for the upcoming season.
"We're ready to have a safe, fun season," he said.
Season passes can be purchased at the Parks and Recreation Office in City Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or at the Big Splash during regular facility hours. Registration forms are available in the Spring/Summer Source and on the city website, grovecityohio.gov.
The passes are on sale to residents and non-residents in four options: youth for ages 3-17, individual for ages 18-54, senior for ages 55 and older and a family pass that includes two adults and a maximum of three dependent children younger than 18 residing in a guardian's household.
Children younger than 3 years old at the time of the pass purchase are admitted free. A maximum of five additional dependent children in the household may be added for $10 per child.
More information about the Big Splash can be found online at bigsplash.grovecityohio.gov or by calling 614-277-3050.