New aquatic center approved for Dearborn's Ford Woods Park

Water slides. Locker rooms with showers. Covered seating areas. Not to mention a brand new pool.

Ford Woods Park is getting some major upgrades, this thanks to the Dearborn City Council's approval of more than $4 million in funding for the city's newest aquatic center.

The old pool, built more than six decades ago, is on its way out and to be replaced by the new pool and corresponding facilities. Erin Byrnes, elected to Dearborn City Council in November 2017, says that the new pool just might be the most exciting thing that city council has voted to fund in her six weeks on the job.

"I think that in Dearborn, our recreation opportunities are something that we're known for. It's something that our residents count on being there and depend on," says Byrnes. "The new pool will build community and help people connect, to get out of the house and into the neighborhood and interact with each other."

Many of the city's pools were built in the 1950s, and the recreation department has been keeping tabs on their various conditions. While some smaller pools have been demolished to make way for splash pads, Byrnes says that it's important for the city to have a new large pool, too.

"It's more than a pool. It's an attraction."

With Ford Woods Park located at the intersection of Ford and Greenfield Roads, it's a high profile location for the new aquatic center. Dearborn's swimming pools are available to residents and non-residents alike, and passes and tags can be purchased at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center service desk.

While the swimming pool at Ford Woods remains closed during construction, Dearborn will continue to operate four outdoor swimming pools: The Dunworth pool at Levagood Park, and smaller pools at Ten Eyck, Lapeer, and Summer-Stephens parks.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.