Flood won't stop Centennial Beach from opening on time
Naperville's Centennial Beach will open right on time this spring, despite last month's severe flooding that caused the DuPage River to overflow into the property along the downtown Riverwalk.
The day after the flood, Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury said he was confident the beach and pool would be ready by 11 a.m. May 25. Recreation Director Brad Wilson confirmed Friday the park is ready to go.
"Everything is cleaned up and our mechanical pumps have been serviced and are ready to go," Wilson said. "We need to replace some landscaping that was washed away between the beach and the river, but we'll get to that when that portion of the Riverwalk reopens."
Wilson said recent renovations to the bathhouse and beach facility played a key role in keeping the buildings and the equipment inside dry.
"After the flood in 2008, floodproof doors were included in the renovation plan for the lower level of the beach house. This storm was the first true test of those upgrades and they worked wonderfully," Wilson said. "We easily had water almost to the outside door handles, but after a few days we were able to go in and everything was nice and dry. That was a reassuring feeling, for sure."
While not in any current plans, fish nets may be a necessary future addition to the facility. Wilson said "several very large fish" were discovered as crews pumped the water out of the pool area.
"When the water comes rolling over that fast, you know the fish are coming with it," Wilson said. "Once the water was drained pretty low, we were able to catch them all and release them back into the river."
Naperville North High School seniors got a sneak peek Fat the facility Friday as they enjoyed their annual Senior Day at Centennial Beach.