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Oak Lawn looking for funds to construct indoor swimming pool

  • Written by Bob Rakow

 

  The Oak Lawn Park District is hoping to a secure a state grant that would be used to fund construction of an indoor swimming pool.
  The district will apply for a $2.5 million Illinois Park and Recreational Facility Construction grant to pay for an indoor lap pool that would be located at the Oak Lawn Community Pavilion, 9401 S. Oak Park Ave., park district director Maddie Kelly said.
  The cost of the pool is estimated at $3 million. The park board on Monday night reviewed the proposal that the district will submit in March.
  “They just became available,” Kelly said. “We’re going to try for it again.”
  The park district two years ago secured a $4.3 million PARC grant, which was used to fund construction of the additional gym space at the Pavilion and the splash pad at Memorial Park, 102nd and Major Avenue. The addition to the Pavilion opened in January.

  Kelly is unsure if winning that grant will lessen the district’s chances of receiving money for another project.
  “I’m not going to get my hopes up,” Kelly said of the odds of the securing the grant. “We’re shooting for the stars.”
  There’s significant support for an indoor pool in Oak Lawn, Kelly said.
  Approximately 93 percent of the 324 people who responded to a district survey supported construction of a pool and said they’d be willing to pay fees to use the facility.
  “That’s amazing,” Kelly said. “I knew we needed it desperately.”
  Kelly said the pool would feature four lanes for lap swimming and a deep end. It would not include diving boards.
  “Nothing fancy,” she said.
  She added that the pool would meet a significant need for the village’s senior population, who could use the facility for exercise and rehabilitation. She even envisions a partnership with Little of Company Hospital, which has an outpatient care center across the parking lot from the pavilion.
  “Seniors need it, believe me,” Kelly said.
  An indoor pool also would allow the district to offer swimming classes to all age groups as well as open swim, Kelly said.
  Currently, the district runs limited swim programming at the Richards High School pool.