PAXTON — The Paxton Park District has been assured by a Champaign engineering firm that a design plan will be completed by mid-February that should offer a fix for the public swimming pool's noncompliant drain.
The park district's recreation director, Neal McKenry, said last week that Foth Infrastructure & Environment officials were close to completing a design for renovations to the pool.
Greg Gustafson, the engineer with Foth who is working with the park district, said Monday he could not give specific details of the design plan. He noted that "we're still working through those details with the (Illinois) Department of Public Health."
Gustafson did add, however, that it "involves the main drain and the grating" and that "a number of other facilities are utilizing this same approach" throughout the state.
From McKenry's understanding, this new design plan would "call for physical changes to the drain box," allowing the part of the pool that's non-compliant to fall within regulations.
The state now mandates that the main drains of pools be at least 12 inches from the pool floor, and the Paxton pool's is at 5 inches, officials have said.
McKenry said he has been told the design plan is "not as reconstruction-oriented as others would be."
"This is kind of thinking outside the box," McKenry said.
The hope is also that this design plan is a less expensive option because it's simpler, Gustafson said.
Until the design plan is finalized, Gustafson and McKenry both said they will not know how much it would cost. However, it is believed the more than $65,000 raised by a local group in Paxton to fund the pool renovation should be more than enough if everything goes according to plan.
If the park district can approve a design plan at the Feb. 14 meeting, it should have enough time to get the pool opened for this summer. The construction "will probably take a minor amount of time," Gustafson said.