By Steve Summers and Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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BELVIDERE — After decades as a summertime destination, Belvidere Township Park District officials say the William Grady Pool has reached the end of its useful life.
Last year, the pool lost 2.9 million gallons of water, requiring it to be refilled five times. It also has mounting maintenance bills, with roughly $885,000 in fixes needed.
Now, the park district is trying to determine what’s next for the public pool. It released the results of a public survey earlier this month as it develops plans for the future of the pool.
“It unfortunately is kind of on its last leg,” Jennifer Jacky, executive director of the park district, said on This Week in the Stateline. “It’s filled with wonderful memories, and we just need to plan to be able to move forward and continue those memories for families in the future.”
Read the survey: William Grady Pool in Belvidere
The pool will still operate this summer, and the district is planning an opening date around Memorial Day weekend. What happens next is still under consideration, but a final recommendation is expected to go to the district’s steering committee on April 21.
The options under consideration:
- Replacing the existing pool with park amenities such as a playground, splash pad and community plaza at a cost of roughly $5 million.
- Rebuilding the pools, diversifying the other amenities and renovating the support building at a cost of roughly $12 million.
- Reinvent the pool into an indoor, all seasons aquatic center with opportunities to partner with other agencies at a cost of $19.4 million.
The pool had nearly 6,800 visits last year after being closed during 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. But those numbers are down about 34% from 10,292 in 2016.
The pool was built in 1939 and rebuilt in 1986. The bathhouse was built in 1939 and renovated in 1993. Filter maintenance was last done on the main pool in 2016, according to the district.