Hopkins Aquatic Center adds feature

By Laura Grandt

Swimmers will enjoy a new speed slide as well as a water sprayground at the Hopkins Park Aquatic Center, 1403 Sycamore Road.

The new features are scheduled to be ready by May 31, the day the park opens for the season.

The sprayground sprays water from various spouts of varying heights pointing in varying directions. This new feature currently is under construction.

The speed slide will be attached to the 34-foot platform currently in place. The unique feature is that it is a straight drop, said Dave Emanuelson, executive director of the park district. This slide will bring the park’s total up to three.

Steve Sherrill, facilities administrator at the park district, said they are waiting for a permit from the state to come through for the slide.

Sherrill said the annual spring work is in progress in preparation for the coming season, as well as work to expand some bridges. The park district also will add additional lounge chairs, bringing the number up to 300 from the 260 available last year. Emanuelson added that work will be done to replace fencing and remodel locker rooms.

Last year, the DeKalb Park District Board decided to abolish non-resident season passes to both the pool and the Buena Vista and River Heights Golf Courses. The decision was made in response to overcrowding at the pool.

“We didn’t do it without some form of relief,” Sherrill said about removing the passes. The relief he was referring to is punch cards. Punch cards are offered for $100, and are good for 20 visits.

Dave Mason, park district board president, said the issue of reinstating the non-resident passes will be reexamined by the board in May. Non-resident passes were reinstated for the golf courses at the April 10 park district board meeting.

The park district is in the process of interviewing applicants for staff positions and lifeguard at the pool. Applicants must be previously certified by the American Red Cross. All who are interested should apply at the DeKalb Park District.