Note: The Park District is applying for a PARC grant that was announced on January 24, with the application due on March 10. The Park District had the master planning process for the pools scheduled to begin September 2014, but moved the planning process forward in order to apply for the grant, which would cover 75% of the cost of proposed Phase I improvements to Rehm Pool. More info available below.
The Park District has initiated the master planning process for Ridgeland Common and Rehm Pools. The scope of this project will include analysis of the Ridgeland Common aquatics facilities, assuming a twenty year life cycle for the existing pool shell, and options for additional amenities at Rehm Pool to complement the newly renovated pool at Ridgeland Common.
The pool master planning process was scheduled for fall 2014 in the Park District’s capital improvement plan. However, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources PARC (Parks and Recreational Facility Construction) grant opportunity was announced in late January 2014 with the application due March 10, 2014. This is the same grant program which awarded the Park District $1.6 million dollars for the renovation of Scoville Park in 2012. The Park Board decided to move the pool master planning process forward to submit an application for Rehm Pool improvements.
A community meeting (view meeting notes) was held on February 19, 2014 to collect preliminary feedback regarding the future of Park District pools and to present ideas regarding the grant application. View the presentation A follow-up survey was available online after the community meeting to collect additional community input. View 1st survey results
A second community meeting was held on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 to present preliminary concepts and collect additional community feedback. View the presentation A follow-up survey was available online after the 2nd community meeting to collect additional community input regarding the preliminary concepts presented. View 2nd survey results
A third community meeting was held on Wednesday, June 25 at Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex to present a final draft concept and collect community feedback. View the presentation
Rehm Pool PARC Grant Proposed Improvements
(Click image for larger view)
The proposed improvements to Rehm Pool that could be funded in part by the grant include:
Replace non-accessible sand play area and wading pool with a new ADA-accessible spray pad and grass area
Add a solar-heated filter room/restroom building
Provide an expanded, shaded pool deck area
Add a canopy at the pool entrance to protect patrons from inclement weather
Replace the bathhouse roof and skylights
Upgrade existing ADA entrances and ramps to the batthouse
The Rehm Pool project was chosen by the Park District because it best meets the grant criteria. The Park District already has approximately $500,000 in the capital improvement budget set aside for upgrades to Rehm Pool for 2015-2016,which would meet the 25% match required for the PARC grant. The grant application and master planning process overall will have no impact on the coming pool season. If the grant is awarded to the Park District, construction would not begin before or during the 2014 pool season.
The Park District does not know when grant awards will be announced, and there is no guarantee we will be chosen for the grant. The master planning process will continue either way, with a third community meeting on June 25 at 7pm at Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex, 415 Lake Street, in Oak Park..
Proposed Spray Pad Area (Part of Grant Application)
The proposed spray pad area will have a fence around it with one gate leading to Rehm Park and another gate leading to the Rehm Pool deck. When the pool is open, the gate to the park will be locked and the spray pad will be an attraction for pool users only. When the pool is not open to the general public, which is normally in the morning during lap swim and swim lessons, the gate to the pool deck will be locked and the gate to the park will be opened to allow the general public to utilize the spray pad similar to the spray pads located in the central and north regions of Oak Park.
Additionally, the spray pad will be open in early May, weather permitting, prior to the opening of the pool on Memorial Day weekend and will stay open through the end of September after the pool closes on Labor Day weekend, maximizing the community’s use of the facility. Currently, there is no spray pad located south of the Eisenhower Expressway in Oak Park, and we are excited to bring this feature to our south Oak Park patrons!
Other Upgrades: Shade, Roof & ADA Improvements (Part of Grant Application)
Other planned upgrades that would qualify for assistance with the grant include adding a shaded area for pool patrons on the east end of the pool deck and replacing the roof of the Rehm bathhouse. The roof, which was identified as a need in the 2002 Infrastructure Report, will be replaced along with obsolete, leaking skylights. The new roof will also feature a large awning in the front of the building to protect pool patrons from inclement weather. Additional ADA accessibility upgrades to the Rehm building entrance and pool deck are included in the grant application as well.
Please contact Diane Stanke.