LUBBOCK, TX -- Texas Tech University students kicked off summer on June 1 in the school’s newly opened $8.25 million outdoor aquatics complex.

The facility features an outdoor pool with a 15-foot slide and diving board, a lazy river, a hot tub that seats up to 20 people, water volleyball and basketball areas, and a “bubble couch” aquatic bench with massage jets.

In addition, the complex has a poolside snack bar that offers fresh sandwiches and smoothies, covered tables and chairs, as well as wireless Internet access.

The project at the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center was three years in the making. The facility was fully funded by students, who approved an increase in student recreation fees in an October 2006 election.

Melissa Hogle, student recreational sports assistant director for aquatics, said the 2-acre complex is unique in its versatile arrangement of activities, size and design.

“I really think the key for us was having a variety of things for the students to do,” she told student reporters. “We already cater to a lot of fitness swimmers by having the indoor Olympic-size pool, but we really wanted a place where the students could go to feel comfortable and really hang out and have fun."

Hogle said the leisure pool presents Texas Tech with an opportunity to recruit more students and makes a statement to the faculty and Texas Tech community regarding the university’s commitment to expand and have unique, top-of-the-line facilities.

Access to the leisure pool is free for currently enrolled students and $75 for those not currently enrolled. The cost also includes membership to the school’s rec center.