Park board looking at Oriole Pool improvements as part of planning process
Morton Grove 10/10/12 Planning Resources Inc. president addresses citizens of Morton Grove that came out for a public workshop as part of the process of developing a new master plan for the park district.| Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:25AM
MORTON GROVE — Morton Grove Park District officials are revising an online survey to reflect plans to go ahead with improvements to Oriole Park Pool next summer.
The park board recently agreed to proceed with needed repairs to the pool, while at the same time look at what other improvements or enhancements can be made to the facility.
The pool became unusable at the end of last summer when a pool liner “blew out,” said Park District Executive Director Brian Sullivan. Sullivan said the park district plans to keep the pool closed net summer while repairs are made and reopen in 2014.
At the same time though, Sullivan said the board has decided to look at what improvements or new features can be added at the pool and park.
The district originally had planned to look at that as part of the process of developing a new comprehensive pan for Morton Grove’s parks and other facilities. The park district has been holding meetings with school districts, community groups and other organizations to obtain their input into the plan’s development.
Residents of the park district also had a chance to offer their comments at an Oct. 10 workshop run by Planning Resources Inc., the firm the park district hired to develop the new comprehensive, long-rang plan.
Sullivan said the plan will look at the park district’s needs and the desires of residents over the next three to five years.
It will look at both facilities and programs, he said. The idea, he said, will be to look at not only what the park district can do itself, but also how it can work better with other groups to provide services.
He noted that the park district already partners with four school districts to provide programs.
Sullivan said an on-line survey, originally slated to be available to residents this month, will likely go up about Nov. 1. The survey was delayed after the park board decided to break out Oriole Pool so that the district could make any needed improvements at the same time the liner is fixed.
“They’re committed to the site. They’re committed to the Oriole environment,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said community input into Oriole pool and park could result in new facilities such as spray pool or upgraded bathhouse building that could be used year around for park district programs
“I think the most important thing, once we build something out, we don’t want people to come in and say you remodeled it but it looks the same,” Sullivan said. “We’re looking at that long term.”
Sullivan said the park district is working with the North Shore Senior Center, Morton Grove Public Library and the English Language Learners program at Pak View School to make sure as many residents s possible can fill out the 10- to 15-minute online survey.
The senior center and library will make their computers available to residents who do not have them at home. In addition, he said, Park View will help residents who may not speak English take the survey in their native language.
He said the park district’s consultant will compile the results and send them to the park board early next year.
The park board should receive a final report on the overall comprehensive plan from PRI in April, though Sullivan said officials have been getting interim reports from the consultant.
As part of the process, Sullivan said PRI is reviewing all of the park district’s operations as well as its organizational structure. The firm also is looking at park district facilities, he said.