Park Ridge Park District approves Centennial Pool layout
A rendering of the new layout for Centennial Pool in Park Ridge. | Courtesy Park District of Park Ridge
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:13AM
The Park Ridge Park District plunged further into plans to build a new pool at Centennial Park project on Tuesday night, when they approved the project’s layout.
Park board commissioners chose the option recommended by the Centennial Pool Task Force, with the condition that a line item be added to the budget to purchase about 25 trees to help shield the new water slide from nearby residents.
The project includes building two new pools that have areas for sliding, diving, lap swimming and shallow water play. The estimated cost of the project is $7.1 million, with $6.3 million of that amount funded through bonds.
“We feel it utilizes the entire park most efficiently,” said Park District Executive Director Gayle Mountcastle.
Jackie Gonzalez, aquatics manager for the Park Ridge Park District, said that the lifeguards could get to the water slide area quicker during emergencies with the layout they chose.
A task force comprised of park district staff and residents narrowed the options down to two final layout possibilities that were discussed at the special board meeting.
The option the board picked had the water slide near Seminary Ave., which is a residential street. The water slide would have next to the senior center in the option they turned down.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Kelly Amelse, who lives on Seminary Ave. and was part of the task force. She and her husband, Ed, attended the board meeting and expressed their concern that the slide would be an “eyesore” in their neighborhood.
“I’m definitely sympathetic to the neighbors in the area,” said Park Board President Rick Biagi. He felt both options were safe, but the design they selected had a better overall flow.
Planting the trees surrounding the water slide will likely cost about $18,000. The price would have been almost double that amount, but park district staff noted that they can save labor costs by planting the trees themselves. An idea also being considered is planting the trees on top of berms to make them taller.
Another option that was presented to the board was to install a large 20-foot-tall, vine-covered wall. But after looking at images of the wall and learning it could cost $100,000, commissioners decided they didn’t want it.
Pool task force member Ken Dort said he thought the wall would create more of an eyesore than the water slide. He is in favor of the layout that the staff and commissioners supported.
“I think the noise may be more of an issue than people are realizing,” said Commissioner Mary Wynn Ryan, who was against the rejected plan, since the water slide would have been right up against the senior center.
Mountcastle explained that the three water play areas are located in one area in the design, so parents with multiple young children can keep an eye on all of their children at the same time.
The park district hopes to have a construction management company hired by Feb. 21, and start construction on the pool in August of 2013.