SYCAMORE – The Sycamore Park District’s 40-year-old community pool will permanently close, according a Wednesday announcement from the district officials.
According to the announcement, the pool’s condition and how much is left of its lifespan has “been a matter of concern for many years.” Funds earmarked for other projects have been pulled to cover the cost of repairs. General operations have been subsidized by other recreational programming and facilities.
“We hope you understand that this was not an easy or hasty decision and that the staff and Board share your sentiments of frustration, disappointment and loss. We are sad to see the end of an era for this beloved facility,” park district officials wrote in the announcement.
Park district officials did not immediately respond to request for further comments Wednesday.
According to documents from the Sycamore Park District, the community pool has operated at a loss for the past 11 years. The district estimates the pool would operate at a total loss of $66,762 for the 2023 pool season.
A professional assessment of the facility was conducted in 2019 to figure out how much work needed to be done to modernize the property. According to park district documents, it would cost between an estimated $5.5 million and $7 million to make the pool’s equipment efficient and reliable.
Regulatory factors have also played a part in the community pool’s demise. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources regulates development within a floodplain – something the pool’s ground sit on. The community space was grandfathered in when restrictions were put in place in 1993 but expansion beyond the current foot print is prohibited, according to the announcement.
“Embarking on expensive improvement projects at a facility that will never be bigger, have more features, or serve more people is not a responsible or forward-thinking approach – especially in a growing community,” the park district announcement said. “We have also talked with surrounding communities and agencies about the possibility of a large joint pool with modern amenities, however, this idea has not gained traction or community support.”
Sycamore Park District’s Splash Fountain will still open in 2023 on May 27, staff are working to create a pass for just that facility.