As reported in the Daily Herald on June 1, the District 211 board's decision to spend up to $15 million to renovate its five pools was great news for its high school swim team members and coaches. Per the article, a project goal to convert pool measurements from meters to the state standard of yards should make 211's swimmers more competitive.
Unfortunately, there is no current prospective benefit for the vast majority of 211 taxpayers and their families. There should be.
My guesstimate is there are thousands of us in 211's service area who like to swim, but lack convenient or low-cost facilities, other than during Chicago's brief summer. (The Palatine Park District, for example, services over 85,000 folks but offers no nonsummer swimming). Although the high school swim team season is relatively long (girls start mid-August; boys end late February), there are many weekday evening and weekend hours, even in season, when the pools are vacant.
In fairness, 211's continuing education program does offer one swimming, one conditioning, and one water polo class at one of its pools. But, even for a small fee, there is no general or recreational swimming in the district.
Unhappily, many of us just opened our property tax bills. One of our payments' biggest beneficiaries is District 211 -- and its pools. Why can't we swim in them?