Geneseo makes a splash by debuting new aquatic center

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GENESEO, Illinois -

Memorial Day weekend officially marks the start of pool season around the Quad Cities.

It will be even more special in Geneseo.

Lifeguards are training for the season on Friday.

They're working out at the John and Carla Edwards Aquatic Center.

It's named for longtime business and community leaders in Geneseo.

The $6.5 million project opens to swimmers on Saturday.

"I think it will be really cool to see the whole community come together," said Emily Ford, 21, a lifeguard starting her seventh season.

The Geneseo community stepped up to donate nearly $2.5 million dollars.

Some five years of planning and fundraising turned a concept into a dream setting.

"The best word I can think of is fortunate," said Recreation Director Jackie Beach.  "The community wrapped their arms around this and made it happen."

On Friday, crews are finishing up the new pool house and locker rooms.

And outside, the aquatic center offers something for everybody.

There's a popular high-dive to family friendly activities down below.

"It's exciting just to have this in Geneseo," said Caryn Vandersnick, committee member.  "All these children are going to have a future in this pool. It's just going to be amazing."

Lifeguards, like Emily Ford, are practicing drills.

The project is creating 75 seasonal jobs at the pool.

"Being outside and working with them in the summer, it's a great experience," she said.

That experience will begin on Saturday at 541 East North Street in Geneseo.

Festivities start at 11:30 a.m.,  with swimming starting at noon.

Day passes cost $7, and there are seasonal passes available -- $150 for individuals and $275 for families.

"Enjoy all the new amenities," said Recreation Superintendent Andy Thurman.  "Continue to see this pool and all our facilities flourish."

Just watch out for the bucket in the splash area!

"It's cool to see the end result, definitely," Ford concluded.

See for yourself this summer in Geneseo.