Official warns that Paxton pool might not open on Memorial Day weekend

PAXTON — If the old liner for the public swimming pool at Coady Park isn’t replaced in time, the pool won’t be able to open on Memorial Day weekend as it usually does, according to the Paxton Park District’s recreation director, Neal McKenry.

McKenry told the park board during its April 11 meeting that Renosys Corp. — an Indianapolis company whose bid for the liner’s replacement was accepted by the board in March — “cannot commit to a completion date due to weather playing a potential factor with their other projects they have going on throughout the country.”

McKenry said he thinks a Memorial Day opening is still a possibility, but there is also a chance it isn’t.

“From the standpoint of staffing and everything else related to opening up the pool, we are still planning to have all that ready to go by the traditional opening date of Memorial Day weekend,” McKenry said. “However, the public needs to know that we obviously must wait until the liner is installed to fill the pool, and we could very well have to wait until a week or two into June to open for the summer.” 

As of last week, McKenry said he expected that, at the latest, Renosys Corp. would be able to remove the old liner and install a new one “sometime between Memorial Day and the middle of June.”

Meanwhile, some board members expressed concern about the condition of the pool pump at last week’s meeting.

“While it is old, it has pretty much been the only piece of mechanical equipment that has not had problems in the past five years,” McKenry said. “The board was just concerned that the pump might fail at the worst possible time — that being after we put in over $50,000 of work into other aspects of the pool. There are ways to test the pump, which will be done, but I have no major worries about it.”  

In other pool-related news, the park district is planning to have the Paxton Aquatic Wildcats swim team hold its practices in the morning four days a week to open up more time in the evenings for other programs.

The park district is also planning to schedule Toddler Splash time for 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, during which parents will be able to bring their children to the pool to play around at the baby pool.

A summer-long water aerobics program is also in the plans for Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Just as it did last year, the board has decided to close the pool on Sundays, with the exception of pool parties. 

“Sundays have recently been the lowest-attended day by far,” McKenry said. “However, just like with the Wednesday Family Swim Nights, we will be open on Sundays if the day is sponsored.  To see all programs and hours, one should consult the daily pool calendar.

“Again, I want to stress that, unfortunately, we cannot plan for the exact start date of any of these programs as the liner would first need to be installed. I see worst-case scenario being a week or two into June. In terms of pool passes, they will go on sale in early May.”   

Parking lot project given go-ahead
Also at last week’s park board meeting, the Farnsworth Group of Champaign was given the go-ahead to start looking into options for the repaving of the parking lot by the pool and fixing the drainage issues surrounding it. 

At March’s meeting, the board voted 7-0 to approve a bid from the Farnsworth Group to engineer the parking lot project for a price not to exceed $19,490.

At this point, McKenry said, there is no timeline for the completion of the project. 

Soccer field project discussed
There were talks at last week’s meeting about better defining the entrance and exits of the driveways at Coady Park along Summer Street and Stockholm Road.

“The ages 8-and-under fields that are in the area off the corner of Stockholm and Summer may also be shifted a bit to the south, where it’s not as wet,” McKenry said.
“That would most likely not happen until the start of the fall season, though.” 

Board members appointed
Also last week, Bobby Kinnaird was sworn-in to the board, and Steve Sample and Nicci Greenlee were each re-appointed.

Sample was approved for the position of board president. Sample previously served as vice president under Brad Strebeck, who attended his final meeting in March.

D.C. Piatt, who attended March and April’s board meetings, expressed interest in joining the board. Sample said the board plans to take steps to get him on the board next month.

“We generally ask anybody who’s interested in taking on the position just to attend a couple of meetings so they kind of get a full idea of what the board entails,” Sample said.

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