Before public swimming pools, it wasn’t uncommon for folks to jump in the Illinois River, or nearby creeks, ponds and lakes to cool off.
Confusion over local pool closures, mechanical problems and funding issues have left many people wondering if it’s time, again, to tie a rope to a tree branch and jump in a creek. Here is where to go, and where not to go, to find a cool, clean swimming pool.
Yes, Lakeview Aquatic Center on Lake Street is shut down, though many still are in disbelief over its closure. A budget crisis forced the Peoria Park District to close the decades-old public pool, and other facilities.
However, the Gywnn Family Aquatic Center at 809 W. John H. Gwynn Jr. Ave. , in Peoria continues to operate swimmingly. It is open every day but Sundays, 1-5 p.m. and admission for all is under $4. Families of up to five members cost $9, and spectators need only pay $1.50 to sit and watch.
Gwynn Aquatic features a zero-depth entry pool, play equipment, a water slide and diving board and a wet sand play area. Swim classes and pool rentals are also available.
West of Peoria, at 1501 W. Garfield Avenue in Bartonville, opened on Memorial Day and will close at the beginning of the school year. The L-shaped pool has a small slide and a diving board, and is open weekdays from Noon – 5 p.m. The pool opens at 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and closes at 7 p.m.
Open swim at Shore Acres Pool on Park Boulevard in Chillicothe runs daily from Noon- 6 p.m. The pool features concessions, a diving well, two waterslides and a zero-depth entry pool with play equipment.
When Splashdown Water at EastSide Centre in East Peoria shut down before the 2018 summer season, it closed for good. All that remains of the popular park are the below-ground areas of the pool and Lazy River, which are filled with branches, leaves and algae.
Dragonland Water Park on Red Bud Drive in Pekin remains open, despite pump damage that shut down the pool’s body and tube slides. The pumps must be replaced, but admission prices were dropped to $4.50 and kids under 3 are free. The park is open daily from Noon to 5 p.m.
Public pools in Morton, Tremont and Washington are operating on schedule, without issue. Morton’s pool on Idlewood Street features a weekday morning toddler time program, and the pool opens daily at 1:00 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m., except for Mondays and Wednesdays, when closing time is 5:45 p.m.
Tremont Public Pool on James Street opens Mon. – Thurs. at 1 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Closing times vary. Located on Stratford Drive, Washington Park Pool offers open swim daily beginning at 12:30 p.m., and offers extended hours on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Last year, a spelling glitch stalled a critical grant for Roanoke Park Swimming Pool, and the facility remained closed for the season. The pool, on W. Victory Ave., is open this year, and hours are 1 to 4:45 p.m. Mon. – Sat and 2 to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Evening swim runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mon. – Sat.
Metamora Pool at 116 N. Douglas St. is open daily, and open swim is Noon – 6 p.m. Also available daily is Tot Time, 10:45 – 11:45 a.m., and morning and evening Lap Swim, Noon – 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. The pool features lap swim and toddler areas, a slide, diving board and concessions.