After being a part of summer in Antioch for 56 years, Williams Park pool is being readied to open June 2 for one last season before an extensive makeover project.
A final design has been sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health for review, and construction bidding for the new aquatic center will begin next month, said Shawn Roby, the village's parks and recreation director.
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It will feature an L-shaped competition pool with six lap lanes and zero-depth entry, a whirlpool, 20-foot water slide and diving board. It also includes a new building to house mechanics, such as water pumps, and to serve as a concession stand.
"It gives to village residents what they were looking for," Roby said. "I think it'll be a fanastic addition to our community."
Roby said crews have worked to keep the old pool operating while village officials looked for ways to replace it.
After a state grant application was rejected last fall, the village scaled back on what had been planned as a nearly $5 million project. The aquatic center will be funded with $2 million from Lake County recovery zone economic development bonds.
Despite that, Village Administrator James Keim said all the major features will be in place.
"The public isn't going to be missing out on a whole lot. [The design team] is making use of existing facilities ... to save on money and deliver a lot of pool for the price tag involved," Keim said.
The earliest construction could begin is directly following the pool's closing Aug. 19. Roby said the goal is to begin construction as soon as possible, finalize the project for operation by Memorial Day 2013 and open for the season by June 1.
The main obstacle will be working through the winter and finishing in time to start the 2013 pool season on schedule, he said.
"We're trying to do it so we're not fighting with the loss of the season," Roby said. "You have windows [of time] when you can pour concrete or do other things, and unfortunately for us, that will be in the winter time."
It will all be worth it for the Antioch Waves, a competitive swim team for youth ages six to 18, said Tom Adamczyk, parent board President.
"We're swimming in an illegal pool," Adamcyzk said. "We'll finally have a legal pool to swim in."
Where the current pool is about 33 yards, competition standard is 25 yards. That's meant that only dual meets can be held at the home pool, and even so, times taken from these races do not count.
With the new pool, he said they will be able to hold legal meets and hosting annual invitational meets as well.
They will also be able to receive a more convenient practice time slot than the current 6:30 to 10 a.m. because they won't have to work around pool hours. The new design allows for the leisure pool to stay open while the team practices in the lap lanes.
"We can't wait to get into it," Adamczyk said. "We've been trying to get this done for 10 years, and this has been long overdue."