Family Aquatic Center future on agenda for special Vernon Hills Park District meeting

Vernon Hills Park District commissioners will discuss the future of the Family Aquatic Center Lazy River attraction and a planned spray ground at a special meeting Thursday.

A year ago, commissioners decided to close Lazy River permanently at the end of this season and replace it with a $3 million facility as a showpiece and destination for the aquatic center.

Now, "they want to have some conversation about potentially continuing to operate Lazy River," said Jeff Fougerousse, the district's executive director.

The special session begins at 5 p.m. at the Sullivan Community Center, 635 N. Aspen Drive. A regular board meeting follows at 6 p.m.

The Family Aquatic Center opened in 1992. The 10,000-square-foot Lazy River, which propels patrons on inner tubes around a circular track, opened in 2000.

Keeping it going will require a lot of mechanical work, Fougerousse said. In fact, the Lazy River and slides were unavailable due to a mechanical issue when the Family Aquatic Center opened June 3. It reopened June 12 after the pump was reinstalled.

Staffing accounts for about half the operating cost, Fougerousse added.

Vernon Hills like other entities has been affected by a lifeguard shortage. Financial information regarding the facilities will be shared during the special meeting.

The district aims to have the sprayground ready for the 2024 season. All contracts have been approved and work is scheduled to begin Aug. 14.

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