Park pools in Round Lake, Mundelein will stay closed
The Round Lake Area Park District Aquatics Center will remain closed this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This decision was made in the interest of public safety and concern for our residents' and our staffs well-being," park board President Paul Hollingsworth said in a statement May 28. "Safety and sanitation have to take priority, I hope our friends and neighbors understand why we had to make this difficult decision."
The threat of spreading the virus was not the only reason behind the decision to close the pool at the Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 860 Hart Road, Round Lake, officials said. The district also was unable to do preseason preparation work, including filling and cleaning the pool for up to four weeks, purchasing equipment and staff training and hiring, due to Illinois' stay-at-home order.
Also, Mundelein Park District announced this week that its Barefoot Bay aquatic center would remain closed for the summer, and the much-anticipated opening of Phil's Beach in Wauconda has been delayed and is in question.
Pool closures highlight the lack of social engagement many communities face as a result of the pandemic. While it's possible to do park district yoga classes and music lessons virtually, guidelines regarding pools differ between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Illinois Department of Public Health protocols. While the CDC has said its unlikely the virus will spread through chlorinated water, the state health department has said pools are not safe to reopen.
"It is never an easy decision to keep closed a pool facility that many look forward to using during the hot summer months," Round Lake Area Park District Superintendent of Recreation Katie Gamroth said. "This decision means that the Round Lake Area Park District has put public safety and concern for our residents' and staff's well-being as a high priority during a time when clear guidelines have not yet been developed for such a facility."
The district also needs a permit from the state to finish repairing the shell of the pool. That work, which started last fall, is now expected to be finished by 2021.
Anyone who purchased a swim pass or swimming lessons will be refunded in full by check within two weeks, officials said.