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The Oak Park YMCA is close to adding an outdoor pool to its repertoire, to go with the indoor one it has at 255 S. Marion St. But don't expect the nonprofit to start digging any holes in the ground soon.
The Y plans to sign a deal this week to take over managing the Fred Hampton Family Aquatic Center, 300 Oak St. in Maywood. The village of Maywood currently manages the pool, but recently approached the YMCA about the possibility of taking it over.
Jan Pate, head of the YMCA, thought it was a perfect fit, as it would help the organization reach customers in Maywood and offer outdoor swimming.
"The Y is very good with pools and aquatics," Pate said. "It's what we're known for, so it was great when the village reached out to us and asked us if we could help,"
Maywood's village manager could not be reached for comment on Monday. But according to David Parsons, chief operations officer for the Y, Maywood had been running the aquatic center the past few years, but didn't have the resources to open it this season. The pool, which has two slides and an area for kids, has remained closed during the scorching summer season.
Maywood isn't planning to pay the Y a management fee. Rather, the nonprofit would collect money from patrons and use those fees to run the pool. It's not likely that the Fred Hampton Pool would be part of the YMCA's normal membership offerings.
Parsons said the Y plans to charge a discounted rate for a pool pass, since they've already lost a few weeks of operating it. They hope to ink a one-year deal with Maywood, and would re-assess things after this season ends in September. Former staffers will be brought back, where possible, while the Y also plans to hire some new lifeguards.
"This is what we do," Parsons said. "When we talked about doing some collaborative things out in the 10 communities that we serve, this is one of those things that makes a lot of sense."