Pulling the plug: Dundee Township Park District won't reopen Sleepy Hollow pool

Sleepy Hollow pool will not reopen next summer.

Water loss and a 60-year-old pool shell that literally is crumbling apart led to Wednesday's unanimous decision by the Dundee Township Park District board to close the pool.

"The bottom line is the pool is not repairable," park district Executive Director Dave Peterson said before the board vote.

District officials also indicated any plans to replace the pool or build a new aquatic center to serve the district's west side likely would involve a referendum.

"Shy of a big benefactor dropping $10 million on us to build a pool, it will probably have to come via referendum," board President Frank Scarpelli said.

An engineering study completed in 2022 indicated the pool, built in 1960s, had one to three years left. This summer was the first of those three years.

Over the summer, the pool lost about 3.8 million gallons of water due to seepage. In 2022, the pool lost 2.7 million gallons of water.

Park officials also pointed to other issues, including a crumbling pool shell, as reasons for its closure.

In September, more than 150 residents attended a park board meeting at the pool to discuss its fate. Peterson and Scarpelli also attended Monday's Sleepy Hollow village board meeting to discuss the pool's future.

"I get it, that pool is beyond repairs and for safety concerns, it needs to be closed," said Kelly Thomas, a Sleepy Hollow village trustee, said at Wednesday's park board meeting.

Thomas was among about a dozen residents who attended the meeting and urged park commissioners to consider options to build a new community pool similar to the Sleepy Hollow pool. Many asked if the district could rebuild the pool in the same location and said they prefer the ease of a smaller community pool over a large aquatic center.

Board members said other projects, such as replacing the club house at the Bonnie Dundee Golf Club, could be included on a referendum. Officials suggested the earliest they would take a funding request to voters is 2025.

In the coming months, the district plans to form a citizen's advisory committee to review options for a pool or aquatic center on the district's west side.

The district's Dolphin Cove aquatic center is located on the district's east side in Carpentersville.

The district also plans to conduct a community survey next year to help determine a possible location for a west side pool or aquatic center and gauge support for a potential referendum.

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