A taxpayer-funded expansion of the Bartlett Aquatic Center appears to be paying off, according to an aquatics operation report presented to the Bartlett Park District board last month.
Steven Karoliussen, the park district's superintendent of special facilities, provided the board with an overview of the park district's two aquatic facilities, which includes the year-round, indoor Splash Central and the outdoor Bartlett Aquatic Center.
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Three years ago, voters in a referendum approved the park district's request to borrow $18 million to fund the aquatic center's renovations and buy Villa Olivia Country Club.
Construction began at the end of 2011 and the new aquatic center debuted in May. New additions to the 20-year-old facility included a lazy river, tube slide, body slide, spray playground and a zip line.
According to the report, pool attendance at the Bartlett Aquatic Center increased 63 percent from almost 38,000 visitors in the 2012 season to nearly 62,000 visitors in the 2013 season.
The total revenue from two types of passes -- which include access to just the outdoor facility or to the indoor and outdoor facility -- doubled from about $127,000 to nearly $254,000.
Admission fees, which allow individuals to use the facility without purchasing an annual membership, more than doubled from nearly $96,000 in the 2012 season to about $208,000 in the 2013 season.
Expenses also increased because the larger facility resulted in the need for more staff. The approximate number of people needed just for the Bartlett Aquatic Center is 116. Wages at the center almost doubled from almost $138,000 to more than $265,000.