Six months into the project, Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 officials say the construction of a new $21.5 million indoor swimming pool at Libertyville High is progressing on time and on budget.
The eight-lane, 50-meter pool's walls are going up now. Pipes needed for pool maintenance are being installed, too, among other elements.
"We are excited to see the progress on the construction each day," Associate Superintendent Briant Kelly said. "(It) is starting to look like a pool."
The 38,000-square-foot natatorium is being built in front of the school at 708 W. Park Ave. It's set to be completed in spring 2019.
Funding is coming from district savings.
The facility will replace a 46-year-old indoor pool on the building's north side. That pool will remain in use until the new one is completed.
The new pool will be wider and longer than the current pool, contain a deep section for diving, have more spectator space and better ventilation. Movable bulkheads will be used to divide the pool for practices and competitions.
Kara Bosman, Libertyville's boys water polo coach, said her players are excited about the project.
"Water polo is meant to be played in an all-deep pool, which we are not currently able to do at home," Bosman said. "The new facility should help athletes develop skills at a faster pace, encourage new athletes to come out for the team and bring our facility to a level similar to other top programs in the state."
Additionally, with more pool space, the boys and girls teams should be able to practice at the same time, she said.
"(That) will eliminate some late nights and early mornings," Bosman said. "We are ready to get in as soon as they will let us."
Officials haven't yet decided what they'll do with the current swimming pool when the new one opens.
Because of the construction, a new traffic flow for students, parents and bus drivers was implemented at the start of the school year. The number of on-campus student parking spaces was reduced, too.
Despite those inconveniences, officials haven't encountered any significant problems with parking or traffic.
"Everyone has been very cooperative with the parking changes due to construction," Kelly said.