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CLEVELAND -- Saturday will be a landmark day in Collinwood history.

Officials will cut a ribbon and a new recreation center will open in the community after a 20-year battle to pick a location and get it built.

It's the city's first new rec center in 14 years.

Ward 11 Councilman Mike Polensek has been the driving force to complete the project.Mayor Frank Jackson made the commitment to build it.

"The dream has become a reality. It took a lot of dedication and hard work and a lot of discussions over the years. But, frankly, it was worth it," Polensek said.

Channel 3 Newsgot a sneak preview of the facility Friday.

It's located at 16300 Lakeshore Boulevard.It's built in structures that used to house an Uncle Bill's Discount Department Store, then a Big Lots and K-Mart.

The $11 million center includes the city's first indoor water park, a monster slide, full swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, walking/jogging track, senior center, aerobics room, commmunity room and computer room.

"This is comparable to any rec center you will find in Cuyahoga County," city Parks and Properties Director Michael Cox said.

The eco-friendly complex has applied for a gold LEEDS status. It recycles air and has some solar panels.

The center will have hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Collinwood had been the only Cleveland community without its own rec center. Many suburban centers like this charge family membership and usage fees.

For now, any Cleveland resident, in fact any person who wishes to use the facility, can use it for free. That would be narrowed to Cleveland residents if parts of the facility become too crowded.

Polensek hope the city spurs economic development along Lakeshore Boulevard.

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