All five Arlington Heights outdoor pools will be open this summer
The Arlington Heights Park District plans to have all five of its neighborhood outdoor pools open this summer and is now hiring hundreds of part-time lifeguards to staff them.
For now, there will still be capacity limits of 50 at a time and online reservations will be required, much like last summer when all but two pools were open. But officials said having those two other pools open this year -- Heritage and Frontier -- will free up additional slots for residents who want to get some strokes in.
The pools will host lap swimming, open swim, water exercise, swim and diving lessons, and interpark swim team practices.
"The park district has been laser focused over the entire period of COVID to try to offer whatever we can offer, instead of closing things down," said Carrie Fullerton, the district's executive director. "Quality of life for people is more critical now than ever before."
The Olympic-sized pool at Recreation Park -- the district's oldest and largest outdoor pool -- will be open the longest this summer: from May 29 to Sept. 26. Pioneer will be open May 29-Aug. 15, Heritage and Camelot June 19-Aug. 15, and Frontier June 19-Sept. 6.
Starting May 1, the district will sell punch cards for open and lap swim in two-, four- and six-visit increments. Prices range from $14 to $30.
Residents can also purchase ARC Plus and Splash memberships for use at any of the outdoor pools or the Arlington Ridge Center's indoor pools, which have been open with various capacities and restrictions for months. Monthly prices range from $17 for an individual to $27 for a family, with a minimum six-month commitment.
After purchasing a membership or punch card, swimmers will have to make a reservation online for a swim time. Lap swim will be an hour long, and open swim sessions will be 1 hour and 15 minutes, with the possibility of going to two hours at some locations if state restrictions are loosened, officials said.
Amid a flurry of other park-related closures at the onset of the pandemic a year ago, Arlington Heights' park district was one of the few in the suburbs initially not to rule out summer pool reopenings. Pioneer Pool was the first to open in late June, while Recreation Pool stayed open into September.
"Arlington Heights is definitely a swimming town," Fullerton said. "People love aquatics in our community."