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updated: 7/18/2014 4:39 PM

Glen Ellyn Park District may pursue indoor aquatic center

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Glen Ellyn Park District is "strongly considering" asking residents to support plans for an indoor aquatic center that could cost between $11.9 million and $12.9 million.

Park officials said they're working toward placing a referendum question on the November ballot. Plans call for the proposed aquatic center to be attached to the Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center at 800 St. Charles Road.

If the project wins voter approval, annual park district property taxes would not increase -- but neither would they decrease as originally scheduled, Executive Director Dave Harris said. He said the cost of building the center would replace a portion of the tax levy that is set to expire.

The owner of a $400,000 house would continue to pay about $583 in annual property taxes to the park district, or roughly $146 more than if that portion of the levy was allowed to expire, based on the 2013 tax rate.

The park board has discussed placing other projects on the ballot with the aquatic center, largely centering on improvements to Ackerman Park and renovations to the Lake Ellyn Boathouse, but Harris said that's unlikely.

He said those projects can be done over the next five to six years with existing funding.

The only project the district couldn't handle on its own is construction of an aquatic center. Although the park board hasn't taken formal action to pursue a referendum question, Harris said, a vote probably will be taken Aug. 5.

"An indoor aquatic center is truly one of the facilities that can be used by the majority of the community," he said. "It's multigenerational, it can be used by young and old, able-bodied as well as special needs, it can be used by competitive, noncompetitive."

Harris said preliminary plans call for a main pool that's 25 yards long along with a smaller warm-water teaching/fitness pool for swim lessons and water exercise.

A feasibility study for the aquatic center was commissioned, in part, by a residents' group called the Glen Ellyn Aquatics Initiative.

Harris said there are other indoor pools in Glen Ellyn, but none with the same mission, goals and purposes.

"This is kind of what's been described as an aquatic desert," he said. "There's really not a true public indoor swimming facility in close proximity."

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