Chicago Park District has announced that it will open every single one of its swimming pools to the public on Friday, June 23.
Last summer less than half the pools opened and some beaches were forced to close due to a struggle with staffing.
The Chicago Park District was only able to hire just over 50% percent of the lifeguards required to manage all facilities effectively and began offering a $600 bonus and additional incentives for newly hired lifeguards last year.
The added incentives did little to fill the void and so specific pools were selected to open and beaches were closed in an effort to “maximize our limited workforce” before pushing the opening dates back to early July.
This year, however, Chicago Park District expects to open all 50 outdoor pools and all 27 indoor pools for summer thanks to a surge in successful lifeguard applications.
As of the end of May, Chicago Park District had seen well over double the 2022 applicants and is reportedly training more than 300 lifeguards to manage all facilities, according to beaches and pools manager Andrew Walsh.
In addition to the $600 signing bonus and paid training, the district upped the average hourly wage from $15.88 to $16.20, waived certification fees, and began offering extra bonuses to newly hired lifeguards such as Divvy memberships, free Chicago Fire soccer tickets, and the chance to win tickets to Lollapalooza.
A date hasn’t been announced regarding when they will close. It has previously been early September though the Chicago Park District website reads “Indoor pools are open most of the year. Outdoor pools typically open in late June and close prior to the start of the CPS school year in August.”
More information will be added as it becomes available. Opening times and accessibility of each pool can be found via www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.
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