Morton Grove park board OKs Oriole Pool plans
A rendering of the new Oriole Pool in Morton Grove. | Courtesy Morton Grove Park District
Updated: April 29, 2013 10:18AM
Morton Grove swimmers will enjoy a new state-of-the-art aquatic facility come summer 2014.
The village’s Park District Board unanimously approved the estimated $6.44-million project to revamp the aging Oriole Pool March 21.
The project will be financed through the sale of $8 million in debt certificates, a financial maneuver officials approved at the same meeting.
Built in 1969 at 9200 Oriole Ave., Oriole Pool is one of two park facilities in Morton Grove with kiddie pools, diving boards and lap lanes.
The aquatic center last underwent extensive renovations in 1999. Officials say the pool’s vinyl liner has since failed and is leaking thousands of gallons of water daily, thus prompting the overhaul.
Williams and Associates, the architectural firm hired for the project, incorporated two changes to the pool design since an open house meeting March 16, where approximately 30 residents perused the plans and offered comments.
The board-approved plan has a lap pool with four 25-yard lanes, instead of the original eight. There will also be a stair entry into four-and-half-foot-deep water, which requires a variance from the state, according to architect Tom LaLonde.
The shallow end of the pool will besix feet deep in order to allow for water sports, like polo.
A second pool with shaded, zero-depth entry will have multiple spray features, a pad walk and an area designated for exercise and other activities.
The layout of the aquatic facility includes greenery within the pool area’s confines, which Oriole currently does not have. The architects opted for more lawn space instead of creating utility structures to support slides in the future.
LaLonde explained it made more sense to wait to build a stand-alone facility for a slide instead of folding it into the current design and, thus, bump up the cost.
Plus, natural landscaping will be an attractive feature of the aquatic center.
“I think you’re going find a lot people enjoy sitting on the grass,” said Rich Grodsky, the park district’s interim executive director. “People gravitate toward it.”
LaLonde said the placement of a new bathhouse intentionally directs patrons away from the pools’ deep ends.
The 7,000-square-foot building, which alone will cost $2.71-million to construct, houses space for 500 bathers, two family changing rooms, locker rooms and showers, a new concession area facing the pools, and an 800-square-foot community room that will be used year round.
The bathhouse also includes ample space for storage, and is designed to accommodate both in-house and contract food services, such as vending machines.
The clean lines and earth tones of the building’s exterior, such as blond brick, blend in with the surrounding neighborhood’s houses, the architects explained. Existing ash trees will remain as a canopy above the paved walkway surrounding the facility.
Park Board President Betty Fergus inquired whether living vegetation could be planted on the flat-topped roof above the community center.
While a good idea in theory, the required irrigation systems and maintenance of a green roof makes it costly, Grodsky said.
LaLonde added that the planned roof design deflects light to assist with cooling.
Now with the plan approved, Williams and Associates will begin drafting detailed working drawings of the facility, Grodsky said.
Groundbreaking on the new Oriole Pool is slated to occur no later than September. Officials hope to unveil the aquatic facility over Memorial Day weekend in 2014.
Fergus thanked the park staff for their work in moving the “long overdue” Oriole Pool project forward.
“Congratulations,” Grodsky added. “It’s going to get busy now.”