Park District Board to decide future for pool

Park District Board to decide future for pool

By Keisha Howerth

The Hopkins Park Pool may be renovated or replaced, among other options, and the DeKalb Park District Pool Consideration Committee will look into what options seems best at a meeting tonight.

Per Faivre, DeKalb Park District Board vice president, said these four options are being looked into.

The meeting in which the committee will discuss the pool’s future will be held at 6:30 p.m. today on the second floor of the Hopkins Park Community Center, 1403 Sycamore Road. The public is encouraged to give input.

“Renovation is one of the four options,” Faivre said. “Another option is a new pool in a new location within [Hopkins Park].”

Faivre said the other two options would be moving the pool somewhere else in DeKalb or leaving it in its current location.

Keeping the pool in its current shell is the cheapest option, and would cost about $3 million. Faivre said replacing the pool could cost upwards of $6 million.

Keith Nyquist, DeKalb Park District Board secretary, said the committee is in a wait-and-see mode until the executive director position is filled by late spring or early summer. The director will oversee operations .

“The pool is close to 40 years old; mechanic and aesthetic issues need to be addressed,” Nyquist said.

Nyquist said there are no set deadlines on choosing an option for the pool, but the park district has until 2015 to submit a plan to make the pool facility comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The park district board wants to offer services to residents with disabilities or health needs.

Scott deOliveira, DeKalb Park District marketing coordinator and operations director at Hopkins Pool, said the park district board created the pool consideration committee last fall to explore options.

“We seek out and evaluate facts regarding replacement and renovation ideas,” deOliveira said.

DeOliveira said the committee looks into historical analysis and usage statistics for each possible proposal.

“We’ve been in touch with other park districts who had similar projects, and we’ve been touching base with pool architects,” deOliveira said.

The board and the committee previously looked into more expensive renovation options for the pool, such as a water park or an aquatic center.

In 2008, the park district put out a referendum that proposed higher property taxes to pay for a more expensive pool renovation, but the referendum was rejected by voters by a margin of three to one.

“We want to be fiscally responsible and come up with the best plan for taxpayers,” Nyquist said.