Most of Chicago's outdoor pools opened Friday in time to beat expected weekend highs in the mid-90s, and coinciding with the first day of summer vacation for many Chicago students, the Chicago Park District announced.
Thirty-eight outdoor park district pools opened Friday, but a dozen are still closed. They still need work to be compliant with the Illinois Swimming Facility Act.
Two years ago, state safety rules mandated replacement of all pool trains. Some of the old drains produced suction strong enough to pull swimmers underwater, something that killed 12 people in a ten-year span.
The state shut down around 550 pools in October due to non-compliance with the new regulations.
Reasons of safety still did not stop the disappointment for people who wanted to dive into summer.
"Disappointing," Marvin Ochoa said. "I can't cool off any other way, just take a shower or go to the lake. We'll probably go to the lake."
The late opening of a pool also came as a surprise to one would-be swimmer.
"It should be open by tomorrow," Carmen Crespo said. "I don't understand why it's taking a long time to be open. It's just ridiculous. It's hot outside. Everybody from the neighborhood knows this pool always opens on time."
The Chicago Park District plans to open the following pools next week:
- Abbot Park
- Bessemer Park
- Fuller Park
- Gage Park
- Hale Park
- Hamlin Park
- Jefferson Memorial Park
- Norwood Park
- Portage Park
- Pulaski Park
- River Park
- Union Park
Signs at the pools yet to be opened will update patrons on opening schedules and refer them to nearby pools, the park district said. Their website has full opening information and hours for bothindoor and outdoor facilities.
Outdoor pools are set to remain open through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3.