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Cuyahoga Falls Reopening Water Works Park with Big Changes

photo of Water Works Park
Water Works Park is run by the City of Cuyahoga Falls and will require visitors to follow numerous social distancing measures this summer.

Water Works Family Aquatic Center in Cuyahoga Falls is set to reopen next month, but with major changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The facility, with slides and a lazy river, could be mistaken for a water park. Those are not yet cleared to reopen by Gov. Mike DeWine. But Water Works is inspected by Summit County Public Health, and because its main feature is a large pool that's how it’s classified.

Kathy Burt, aquatics director, says they’re working with the health department to meet Ohio Department of Health and CDC guidelines on social distancing.

“They encouraged us to continue in the path that we were moving as far as what we’re doing with the lazy river and how we were going to limit the occupancy. So it was a hand-in-hand process.”

The lazy river will now have floating dividers to keep people socially distanced.

“We’re connecting different tubes together to create barriers so you can’t pass somebody in front of you and you won’t be getting too close to them. You’ll be in your tube, which is about four-and-a-half feet wide and you’ll have barriers as well to prevent you from bumping into somebody else.”

In the concession area, people can only order from the outside. Staff will have their temperature taken on arrival. Masks will be encouraged throughout the facility. And maximum capacity will only be about half what it was before the pandemic.

Burt says the biggest extra cost this year will be signage to inform visitors about the new procedures.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.