In September, the Cary Park Board of Commissioners took action to move forward with the planning, development, and construction of an outdoor aquatic facility at Cary-Grove Park.
The Park District’s current outdoor pool located at the Community Center is over 40 years old. The founding residents who pushed for the creation of a Park District in 1971 did so with the primary purpose of bringing an outdoor pool to the community. At the time the outdoor pool was constructed, the population of Cary was between 4,500 – 6,000 people. Today the population of the Cary Park District is 3.5 times the size and stands at 21,500. “The Board of Commissioners is committed to continuing the vision of the Park District’s founding residents by replacing an aging amenity that has served the community well with a new updated outdoor aquatic facility that will serve the community and residents for many years to come” said Keith Frangiamore, President Board of Commissioners.
During the process of developing the 2016 Comprehensive Master Plan Update the Board of Commissioners worked with the community through a series of public meetings and needs assessment survey tools to identify and prioritize future initiatives of the Park District. Both indoor and outdoor recreation facilities ranked very high as needs expressed by the community. To evaluate facility development, the Park Board and staff conducted a feasibility study to explore the development of an indoor recreation center and an outdoor aquatics facility. Areas of study included a market analysis, operational costs, capital costs, program development, and site analysis. This study began in May 2018 and the Indoor Recreation and Aquatic Feasibility Report was accepted by the Board in March 2019.
The construction cost of the new outdoor Aquatic Facility is anticipated to be $9-10 million. In July 2019 the Park Board and staff finalized a review of the agencies finances and funding options. From this work, it was determined that the Park District will complete construction of the project and operate it effectively using the existing financial capabilities and capacity of the agency. Additionally a plan was set forth to seek outside funding assistance, and the Park Board has prepared to submit a grant application to the Illinois Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) grant program released in December 2019.
Programming elements discussed during the study of a the new outdoor Aquatic Facility include zero depth entry pool, slides and spray features, interactive features, shade structures, seating as well as an eight lane pool to support community and District swimming programs for all ages. The facility will be compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and usable by people with and without a disability. Beginning in 2020, the Board of Commissioners will begin discussions that will build upon an initial concept plan for the facility developed as part of the Feasibility Study. Residents of the Park District will be invited to provide input through public meetings and/or open houses during the 2020 planning process.
The ground breaking and construction start for the new outdoor Aquatic Facility is anticipated to begin in 2021. “The ground breaking will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Park District”, said Frangiamore. “Our expectation is to open the new facility for the summer 2022.”
Copies of the 2016 Comprehensive Master Plan Update, Action Plan 2018 Update, and the Indoor Recreation and Aquatic Feasibility Study are available for viewing. To receive updates on this project and invitations to upcoming open houses pertaining to the outdoor Aquatic Facility, subscribe to the Park District’s email list.