Shutting down for a few weeks in August is routine for the Oak Brook Park District Family Aquatic Center. Each year, staff completes routine maintenance and deep cleaning while many residents and members are away on last minute summer vacations or getting ready for school.
But this year’s shut down is anything but routine. Beginning August 14, the park district will begin a complete renovation of the Family Recreation Center locker rooms. The project includes improvements to the adult locker rooms, male and female locker rooms, and the addition of an “Inclusive Family Locker Room.”
“In evaluating the responses from the comprehensive community survey as well as ongoing requests from members, we had clear direction to prioritize locker room improvements,” says Oak Brook Park District Executive Director, Laure Kosey. According to Kosey, the new facility provides a solution for mixed gender and mixed age families that visit the aquatic center for recreational swimming, lessons, swim team or events. Currently, the park district does not allow children over the age of 6 to enter the opposite sex locker room. “A dad that brings his 7-year-old daughter to the pool would have to allow her go through the female side by herself,” said Kosey. “Many parents are not comfortable with this and it poses a problem for parents with children that have special needs.”
The park district expects that the Inclusive Family Locker Room will significantly alleviate crowding in the male and female locker rooms during peak hours, providing an overall better experience for all patrons.
The Inclusive Family Locker Room will be located down the center of the current locker complex and will include ten secure changing areas. One of the changing areas will feature an ADA accessible toilet, shower, and adult changing table to better accommodate families that have older children with special needs or patrons with limited mobility that require home health aides. Two of the new changing areas will equipped with infant changing tables.
The project will also add a convenient new “rinse off shower” located on the pool deck just outside the entrance of the Inclusive Family Locker Room. The cluster of showers will allow families to quickly rinse off multiple kids in their swimsuits so they can easily towel off and change in a dry room.
The current locker rooms will be undergoing upgrades as well. The shower areas will be retiled and a new epoxy floor will be installed. Patrons will also enjoy new carpeting and lockers throughout the facility.
The locker room renovation project budget is $1.1 million and the Family Aquatic Center and locker rooms will be closed from August 14-September 15. The aquatic center will reopen on September 16, and there will be limited access to showers and locker rooms until the end of November. Staff anticipates that the project will be complete by the end of November 2017.