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New indoor aquatic center at Bethesda Park to open this weekend

LAWRENCEVILLE - Those warm thoughts of beaches and pools this week may not have just been a dream, even though the temperatures dipped into the 30s.

This weekend, officials will open Gwinnett's newest pool - an indoor aquatic center with all the trimmings of a water play land.

The 31,040-square-foot Bethesda Park Aquatic Center will open from

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

In addition to a 7,000-square-foot indoor leisure pool with beach-style access, a 100-foot-long slide, a river channel and other water play structures, the facility includes a four-lane instructional pool and a wet classroom.

The aquatic center was part of a $10.4 million expansion to the Lawrenceville-area park.

Perhaps more timely the day before Super Bowl Sunday, the upgrades include a new football complex, which opened over the summer.

According to a press release, Bethesda Park's amenities include three adult softball fields, seven additional baseball/softball fields, six soccer fields, a concession/restroom area, a playground and trails. The park is also home to the Gwinnett Senior Center.

The Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department is already taking registrations for swim lessons and water exercise classes, and both the leisure and instructional pool can be rented after normal operating hours, according to the press release. For more information or to register, go to www.gwinnettparks.com.