After Years of Planning, Norman Aquatics Center Now Open
by Chelsey Kraft
Residents of Norman and the surrounding communities will soon have a new spot to spend the upcoming hot summer days. The Westwood Family Aquatic Center, located at 2400 Westport Drive will open on May 26. The facility will be open from noon to 8 p.m., every day of the week until school starts.
The center features a long list of amenities, including a zero-depth entry pool, lazy river, various water slides, a plunge pool, lap pool, diving area, climbing wall and a play feature designed for younger kids with slides, a dump bucket and more.
The Westwood Family Aquatic Center represents the first of the larger Norman Forward Quality of Life projects to be completed, said Jason Olsen, recreation superintendent for the City of Norman.
Norman Forward was passed by voters in 2015 as a citizen-led initiative to fund several quality-of-life projects, including multiple recreational facilities, libraries, parks and athletic venues.
When this project began about three years ago, there were open meetings held for community members to share their opinions on amenities for the pool, Olsen said.
From a list of options, people ranked features that were important to them, and the top choices were included in the design. There is plenty of shade at the facility because that was high on everyone’s list, he said. Another popular choice was the lazy river.
“This is a completely citizen-driven project,” Olsen said. “We had a lot of feedback and we are opening what the citizens and residents of Norman wanted. We’re looking forward to opening this place up and letting people come in and use this park.”
Season passes are on sale now, with individual passes ranging from $55 to $60. Family options with up to four passes are also available for $150 to $200. Additional passes for the family can be purchased for $25 each. Patrons can purchase daily admission, ranging from $5 to $8.
Patrons can also take advantage of a variety of classes and activities, including swim lessons, aqua fitness classes, toddler time and lap swimming. Prices and more details for these can be found on the Norman Parks and Recreation website: http://www.normanok.gov/parks/parks-and-recreation.
Additionally, financial assistance is available to those who qualify, Olsen said.
“I think that we have everything that we know the residents of Norman wanted, it’s all packed into one,” Olsen said. “We’re chomping at the bit to get people in here.” – BSM