The Park District of Oak Park has solicited bids for two projects that will spell changes at Rehm Pool, 515 Garfield St.

Inside the pool’s bath house, the entrance to the pool will be widened and the lobby expanded and altered to give families more room, in addition to allowing a smoother check-in process.

In the pool area itself, the sand play area will be replaced with a rubberized surface. Work is expected to start in the fall, once the summer pool season is over.

According to the park district’s website, the pool has been around since at least 1960. It features a 50-meter general use pool, a smaller shallow pool for kids ages 6 and under, a diving well and a sand playground. 

Jan Arnold, the park district’s executive director, said sand from the play area has been an ongoing maintenance problem. 

“Sand continues to wreak havoc on the pool filters,” she said.

According to the bid information on the park district website, the entire playground will be removed, and a new poured-in-place rubber surface will replace the sand area. In addition, work will include installation for new concrete curbing, new drain tile, new play features, plumbing, new shade structures and benches.

Arnold’s July 13 report to the Park District of Oak Park Board of Commissioners mentions that the play area will have a “water play component” and that it will be accessible to people with disabilities.  

As for the pool bath house, Arnold said that the idea was to change the entry space to improve patron flow in and out of the building.

“The check-in area will be moved south as to allow a more direct entrance into either locker rooms, and the access door to the pool deck would be widened,” she said. 

Arnold’s report to the board also mentions that the renovations will “open up the lobby to provide space for families.”

The two bids were solicited on July 11 and are due back on Aug. 14. Members of the park board are expected to select a contractor for the work at their Aug. 23 meeting. 

Arnold told the Journal that the construction is expected to start in the fall.

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Igor Studenkov

Igor Studenkov is a winner of multiple Illinois Press Association awards for local government and business reporting. He has been contributing to Growing Community Media newspapers in 2012, then from 2015...