Nash pool to close at end of July for improvements that include a new way to make a splash

The pool at the Nash Recreation Center will be closed from July 29 through Sept. 9 for improvements that will include replacement of the diving board with an "Aqua Wall".

OREGON – Swimmers who like to take a dip in the Oregon Park District’s Nash Recreation Center pool soon will have a new way to drop in to the cool, blue water.

The pool will be closed July 29 through Sept. 9 for improvements that will include replacing the diving board for the 25-meter, six-lane pool constructed almost 40 years ago.

District officials began investigating the diving board’s replacement several years ago after discovering that the diving well does not meet the 11-foot, 2-inch minimum standard set forth by World Aquatics.

“The diving board was original when the pool was constructed,” park district Executive Director Erin Folk said. “It had been grandfathered in, but the restrictions have changed, and we could not find a diving board manufacturer that could meet the new restrictions. Our hands were essentially tied.”

The current diving board meets the Illinois Department of Public Health standards, but diving board manufacturers will be unable to sell the district a new board, as they are held to standards set forth by World Aquatics. As a result, the district chose to pursue an aqua climbing wall that will be three panels high and will allow one participant to climb at a time, Folk said.

The new Aqua Climb is a translucent, 9-foot climbing wall that will extend over the east side of the deep end of the pool and subsequently allow for two more lap swim lanes during multi-use swim times.

“Kids or anyone can climb out the water on the handles that curve over the water, where they can then drop back in,” Folk said. “The diving board does get a ton of use, but the climbing wall was the only option we had. We placed a high priority on replacing it, and the wall does meet all the IDPH standards.”

Replacement of the diving board is part of a $548,137 contract for pool improvements approved by the Oregon Park District Board of Commissioners on May 14.

Sjostrom & Sons of Rockford will complete the construction improvements, including installation of a pre-purchased dehumidification unit, renovations of the locker room because of the new unit and replacement of epoxy flooring.

Structural concrete repairs, the diving board replacement, and roofing and structural supports for the new unit also are included in the work.

“The improvements included in the upcoming construction project represent a significant investment in infrastructure that enhances the value and lifespan of the pool as a community asset,” Folk said. “Our facility staff has worked alongside the project engineers to carefully plan for these improvements and ensure we meet all regulatory compliance standards. We are looking forward to the improvements being completed and providing a fun and functional aquatic space for all users.”

Each of the improvement items is included on the district’s five-year rolling capital improvement plan.

Facility users will be notified of the closure and provided with membership options during closure.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.