ROCHELLE — Directors and commissioners with the Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District decided Monday evening that Spring Lake Pool will not open for the 2020 season.
While the park district will move forward with its plans to use its OSLAD Grant and improve the Spring Lake facilities this summer, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for officials to determine a date in which the pool can open safely and be properly staffed. July 1 had been viewed as a possible opening date, but the park district will keep Spring Lake closed in order to start on the improvement project and fully prepare the facility for the 2021 season.
“Delaying the opening would cause quite a few problems staff-wise,” aquatics director Marianne Swanson said. “There’s no guarantee that we would have the staff to open on July 1. Another concern would be whether or not parents will allow their kids to be helped by our lifeguards because of social distancing. Even swimming lessons would put both kids and our staff in positions where they wouldn’t be safe. In addition to cleaning and everything else, there are so many uncertainties that opening the pool this summer worries me.”
Executive director Jackee Ohlinger said that improvements could begin as early as June, with a larger Grand Opening of the renovated facility scheduled for the start of the 2021 season. Ohlinger said the current shelter-in-place order has limited the park district’s ability to train staff members for this summer, and she said that, if Spring Lake Pool were to open this summer, additional measures would need to be taken in order to ensure safety for all.”
“I’ve been on several Zoom meetings with other park district directors, and none of them have opening dates for their pools,” Ohlinger said. “Everybody has been on hold as they wait to see what happens if and when restrictions are lifted… Spring Lake Pool is near and dear to our hearts, but this is a great way for us to make lemonade out of lemons. We can move forward right away with our project and check it off our list so we don’t miss a beat next summer.”
Park district commissioners unanimously approved a resolution allocating $12,940 in spending for lockers to be used inside the 24-hour fitness facility at the recreation center that’s currently on scheduled to be completed in September. Commissioners also approved a change to its sound system, which will cost around $87,000, as well as the purchase of a zero-turn mower for $9,279.