By Fran Odyniec
After 13 months of construction, the Plain City Aquatic Center in Pastime Park was officially opened Friday afternoon.
In a ceremony coordinated by Debra Shaner of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, Plain City Mayor Sandra Adkins and village officials cut the ribbon as a roar of approval went up from the crowd that had gathered at the center’s entrance for the occasion.
From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., admission to the center was free. Overcast skies, chilly temperatures, and a threat of rain did not put a damper on the afternoon’s festivities.
About 50 school age children in the crowd dashed through the entrance with towels draped around their necks as the red-and-white ribbon was cut.
“The aquatic center is not something village government made happen,” Adkins told the crowd. “The pool committee went to the residents to find out what they wanted. The community came together to make it happen. This is an amazingly beautiful facility.”
She smiled as she recounted that weekly progress meetings village officials had with construction manager Chad Troth of Thomas and Marker and Bill Patterson of Patterson Pools “were busy and stressful over those 13 months.”
The mayor pointed out that those meetings were critical to “watching the dollars and oversight of the levy money.”
In May of last year, village residents approved construction of the aquatic center by a vote of 407 to 227 passing a bond levy of 1.62 mills to finance the $2,018,400 cost of the project.
Ground was broken on Sept. 19 with Memorial Day 2012 as the target date for opening.
“That was the challenge from day one,” said Village Administrator Steve Hilbert. “That was emphasized in the bid specs that the time constraints were extremely rigid.”
Y close the pool that had