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Lindon aquatics center on track

Work may start in July; surf machine included

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LINDON — Construction is expected to begin within weeks on the new aquatics center in Lindon, which will include a popular, crowd-pleasing surf machine.

Set just east of the current city center, the three-acre site will feature a lazy river, kiddie and wave pools, a lane pool, a sunken-ship play area, concession stand, family and individual changing rooms, and of course, a FlowRider.

"The FlowRider surfing machine was brought in primarily to provide more of a dynamic feature for the teenage population," said Brent Tippets, with VCBO Architecture.

The machine creates shallow waves over padded material that can be ridden by adults and children regardless of skill level.

Originally the FlowRider was put on a "wish list" as only a possibility, but it turned out to be less expensive than designers thought.

The city budgeted $10 million for the project, and combined cost for design and construction is around $9.7 million to $9.8 million, according to Adam Cowie, city planning and zoning director.

Groundbreaking should be in July with an anticipated opening around Memorial Day in 2009, Tippets said.

The City Council and Planning Commission approved modified site plan drawings Wednesday, which means the project now goes out to bid and construction will begin soon after, Tippets said.

Originally the design was for a dead-end parking lot, but the city's Planning Commission was concerned about the traffic and pedestrian hazards that might come without a drop-off zone.

So, Tippets designed a drop-off zone and reconfigured some parking, making the area safer and more traffic- and pedestrian-friendly.

City officials also wondered about the need to have some sort of cap on the pool capacity, to avoid having a sardine-like experience and to keep swimmers safe.

According to the available parking, the pool could accommodate 762 people, which is more than the city expects at one time, Cowie said.

"I think we have to see what happens the first year," Cowie said. "If we run into problems, (then we can) limit occupancy."

The city also plans to build an indoor recreation center with a running/walking track, aerobics room, indoor pool and large sports court area next to the pool on another acre and a half. However, that project will have to wait until more funding is available.

E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com