An artist's rendering of the new pool design at the Bleser Park Aquatic Center. Special to the Morning Journal
AVON LAKE - The new design for the Bleser Park Aquatic Center is supposed to be safer, more family oriented and include an attraction for senior citizens - all for an additional $280,000. Residents approved a $4.5 million bond for the project last November.
Council unveiled the updated design at last night's collective committee meeting. Councilman Martin O'Donnell said, "The money is better spent," with the new plans.
"We've been to Beachwood, Shaker Heights, Willoughby and Willowick," O'Donnell said. "We went over to places that have newer pools to see what's worked for them and what they didn't like."
The biggest addition to the project is the lazy river, which council saw on a visit to a Beachwood pool. O'Donnell says the lazy river is a favorite in Beachwood and should draw more people to Bleser Park.
"There was a lot of activity and usage for (the lazy river)," O'Donnell said. "The whole family can use it.
"We average about 250 to 300 people at the pool now," O'Donnell adds. "We could easily see 600 to 700 people a day with the lazy river.
Bleser Park will be the first community pool in Lorain County to have a lazy river. O'Donnell expects the whole park to attract people to the park, including senior citizens. He says the lazy river can be therapeutic for seniors.
"One of the things I've heard from my people is "this is for families, this is for families," Councilman Dave Kos said. "What about seniors? I think that addition of the lazy river is a good thing."
The updated design of the grounds replaces the one access road that stretches across the park from Lake Road to Electric Boulevard with two separate entrances - one of Lake Road and one off of Electric Boulevard.
"We changed the driveway entrance for the safety of the children," O'Donnell said. "The main drive was cutting through the middle of the park where kids would be running across from the baseball field to the concession area. We took that road away."
The new design also moves the water slides more to the east of the park away from the Brookfield neighborhood.