Race to finish Crystal Lake Pool will be close

URBANA — Saturday's scheduled opening of Urbana's $9.1 million outdoor aquatic center is going down to the wire, the executive director of the Urbana Park District acknowledged Monday.

"It's touch-and-go. They're really close," park district executive director Vicki Mayes said Monday afternoon. "If it hadn't rained on Saturday ... we had the full site under construction. All the trades that were finishing up were there, but then we got rained out at about noon."

The Illinois State Water Survey reported that 1.46 inches of rain fell locally on Saturday.

"We're working on a day-by-day basis," Mayes said. "As long as it continues to be dry, we're hoping to open on June 29th, but we have to get through all of our permits" from the city of Urbana and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

"If we do not get to swim on June 29th, we'll have our grand opening celebration anyway and we'll keep the facility open all day long for public tours," she said.

If the pool doesn't open for swimming on Saturday, it likely will open July 2.

"One way or another we will have this place open on Saturday. And the first day we swim, whether that is Saturday or July 2nd, we'll do the first rides and activities then," Mayes said. "I think there's a good chance. The key is to get everything done enough so that all the other agencies who have to do their job have time to do their job. We need to have the city occupancy permit issued. We're right on the verge of having that done. And public health has to do their inspection. It's a little more intense for the first year of operation."

As of Monday, most of the work was completed on the three pools at the center as well as a streambed feature, Mayes said. A diving board remained to be installed at the center's plunge pool; gutters and gutter covers had to be added to the leisure pool; and landscaping, fencing and sodding had to be completed.

Grand-opening ceremonies are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday. If the pool does not open for swimming, tours will be conducted until 4:30 p.m.

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