Last week’s grand opening of the new Highland Recreation Complex garnered a lot of fanfare, and rightfully so.
The 40,000-square-foot Largo facility has more cool features than you can shake a stick at, including dual gymnasiums, state-of-the-art fitness and gaming rooms, and a neat old-school slide.
But all the work didn’t just take place indoors; outside the aquatic center, which re-opens this Saturday, received a major makeover as well.
“We resurfaced the pools, redid and expanded the deck, added new furniture, resurfaced the slides,” Mark Abdo, the city’s aquatics recreation program manager, said last week. “We’ve got new fabrics, new colors, new components, new surfaces.
“So this is basically all brand-new.”
The result is an expansive area that allows for more movement for the kids and families that Abdo believes will be flocking to the facility this summer, as well as more shaded area and places for storage.
Abdo said the elimination of the old administration office and snack stand makes the area much more accessible, and the addition of lockers and cubbys will help keep property in a safe place.
But the new pool isn’t all about space; there are also new attractions that should provide plenty of entertainment for everybody.
“We have this new feature called the Big Squirt — it’s the only one of its kind in Pinellas County,” Abdo said. “For parties a kid gets an extension hose that plugs into an outlet on the base, and it shoots water all the way across the pool.”
In addition there are new water features, including a giant bucket called the Big Barrel that will dump a curtain of water on squealing kiddies every 85 seconds.
All the new features, plus special rates like a friends and family swim where groups of five get in for one price, should make the Highland Rec pool a busy place this summer.
“It’s bigger, it’s more comfortable,” Abdo said. “We think there’s going to be a lot of interest in it.”
If You Go: Highland Rec Aquatic Center Grand Re-Opening
- When: Saturday, June 8, 2013 noon to 4 p.m.
- Where: Highland Recreation Complex, 400 Highland Ave., Largo
- Contact: 727-518-3016
- Info: www.largo.com
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