Nichols Park Pool Pricing Changes on the Horizon

By Benjamin Cox on March 19, 2024 at 3:55pm

Members of Trotter Construction continue work on the pool deck on March 19th.

The Nichols Park Pool appears to be ready to open in June for the start of the pool season. The Jacksonville City Council’s Parks & Lakes Committee appears to be confident that will be the case, despite the pool still being under heavy construction.

Jacksonville Parks Manager Adam Fletcher believes things are running on time as far as the renovation schedule is concerned: “As of now, the pool is on schedule to be opened up. We’re hopeful for a June 1st opening day. I understand that there is a lot of time between now and then. According to the engineers and contractors, everything is kind of moving along as scheduled. Right now, it looks pretty promising that it’s going to open up for the summer.”

There were some last minute additions to the project due to lighting requirements and a gutter system requirement by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The change orders to the overall project brought additional costs but no additional time delays.

Fletcher says that the Parks & Lakes Committee in the meantime had to do a deep dive into daily rates and rental rates for the pool. The pool has generally not been a huge money maker for the city, and has rarely broke even. Fletcher says that he recently did a cross-comparison of rates with surrounding municipalities who have municipal pools, and a rate hike was inevitable even without the soon to be completed upgrades: “I know we are going to have to increase the prices a little bit. We are going to try and push for a $5 flat fee for everybody, children 4 and under will get in free with a paid adult for our daily admission rates. The family passes and the seasonal passes will be adjusted accordingly. We are working on getting all of those numbers released from the City Clerk’s office very soon. It just comes with the territory. We’ve got to step up with the surrounding communities and their prices. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We took multiple communities around us and kind of put together our pricing.”

The new pricing ranges will be voted on by the Jacksonville City Council at their next meeting on March 25th.