Grandview Heights parks board Chairman Dan Headapohl said the opening of the city's new pool brought out the little kid in him.

At 3 p.m. May 27, Headapohl and dozens of other residents took part in the Big Splash, lining the edges of the facility's two pools and, after a countdown, leaping in all at once to begin the new season.

The chairman said the event left him with a big smile on his face.

"Water found," Headapohl said.

The pool's official opening followed a grand-opening ceremony the previous day, which included a ribbon cutting, cake and a chance for community members to tour the facility.

"A municipal pool really is all about the memories you accumulate," Headapohl said. "The ice cream you eat, cooling off on a warm summer day with your friends, the swimming lessons in the cool of the morning -- the memories this pool will bring are just beginning."

The $6.2 million facility includes two pools: a leisure pool with a dual water slide and a lap pool with a diving well.

The leisure pool includes a wading pool for infants and toddlers; the lap pool has eight lanes to allow competitions to be held, Parks and Recreation Director Sean Robey said.

A new building includes changing rooms.

"There are a lot of new bells and whistles that people are really going to enjoy, especially the slide and the new 20-foot umbrellas," Robey said. "It's so exciting to have the pool ready to open. All the hard work has really paid off."

The pool was completed in just nine months, with Corna Kokosing serving as construction manager and MSA Sports as project architect.

"They did a great job in getting an outstanding project done on time and on budget," Mayor Ray DeGraw said.

Perhaps the most important component of the pool project was the community involvement, he said.

"We literally had hundreds of people involved, with the initial community meetings to determine the scope of the project and everyone who came out for the design meetings and gave their input," DeGraw said. "The architect said he had never seen so much community input in a project before.

"This has been a true community project," he said.

Youngsters waiting in line May 27 to be among the first to test the water slides gave the pool high marks.

"I think it's pretty cool. It's a lot better than the old pool," said Jackson Kessler, 10, of Grandview. "It's awesome that they added a slide. We didn't have that before.

"I'll probably be coming to the pool a lot more," he said.

Madeline Palmisciano, 10, of Grandview said her first thought when she first walked into the new pool facility was "wow."

"It's a lot more modern-looking than the old pool," she said. "I'm most excited about the new water slide. I can't wait to go down it."

William Halberg was more excited about the new diving well, which includes a high dive.

The 11-year-old Grandview resident gave the pool a thumbs-up after he completed a dive.

"There's a lot more room in the diving well," he said. "You have somewhere to go when you make your dive."

It was exciting to be part of the Big Splash, William said.

"That was really fun," he said. "It was exciting when they were counting down, then getting to jump in the pool with everybody."

Terry Wheeler brought his 5-year-old daughter, Summer, to the pool's opening day.

"She couldn't wait for the pool to open," he said. "She was so sad when the pool closed early last summer (to allow construction to begin). Every time we'd drive by the site, she'd want to know when it was going to open again."

Wheeler said he was impressed with the new facility.

"It seems so much more spacious, although I know it's the same site," he said. "They really did a great job with the design, all of the little things they've added to make it an even better place to bring your children. It's fantastic."

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