Pool committee discusses renovation options

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

DeKALB – Most of the members of the 12-person DeKalb Park District pool consideration committee presented their ideas for renovation of the Hopkins Park Pool at Monday’s meeting.

The district has until 2015 to submit a plan to the state to make the 39-year-old pool, especially its locker rooms and entrances, comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

An earlier plan to replace the pool within its current footprint for $5 million was abandoned this year after three new members were elected to the five-member board. Yet another new member was appointed earlier this month to replace a commissioner who had died.

Also considered was a plan to partner with the Sycamore Park District for a jointly owned new pool. That plan was scrapped when DeKalb park leaders decided they did not want to spend money to acquire land for a joint facility.

Led by park board Vice President Per Faivre, the group discussed needing clearer direction and a spending limit from the board. Interim park district Director Lisa Small told committee members the district can sell bonds for an amount up to $6 million without seeking a referendum.

However, the park district still is paying off bonds for its Sports and Recreation Center. Those bonds will not be paid off until 2019. Small said it would be possible to pay them off two years earlier, but that might create hardship paying for facility maintenance throughout the district.

“If we could determine some of the pricing for these renovations, it would help the board in the decision-making process,” said board member Keith Nyquist.

“I think we should come up with a base model, the things that should be done,” Faivre said, “then an option B and a top-of-the-line plan to take to the board.”

He asked committee members to share their thoughts on necessities for the renovation. Suggestions included increasing the size of the wading pool, moving the concession stand, separating the mechanical operations from the rest of the facility and restructuring the slides, among other things.

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