The proposed renovations calls for a new 8-lane main pool and a junior pool with a zero depth area and other water features.Photo courtesy of Prairie Forge Group

Riverside Swim Club members will spend the next month crunching numbers for household budgets as they prepare to vote on whether to support a $4.2 million renovation of the facility, which was built in 1962 and is in serious need of an overhaul.

The private club’s Long Range Planning Committee unveiled the plans for the renovated pool, the costs for construction and how the plan would be financed at a special member meeting at the Riverside Township Hall on July 23. About 150 member families were represented at the meeting, which represents about 30 percent of the total membership of 477.

“I think it was a little more than we expected,” said Riverside Swim Club President Adrian Mendoza.

Several of those in attendance clearly supported the proposal, which will end up costing each member family several thousand dollars to pay for the cost of construction. The exact burden for each member is not known, since the club still doesn’t know what kind of commitment it can expect.

“We’ve been very upfront that these numbers are estimates,” said Mendoza. “Until we can present firm numbers on the commitment from our members to the bank, we couldn’t provide the membership with truly accurate figures.”

The figures that were provided may be sobering for some. Members will be asked to remit a one-time payment of between $3,000 and $6,000, which would be spread out over a one-year period. Then members would have to pay an annual debt service fee of several hundred dollars, in addition to their annual dues of $650 per family.

Member commitment will become clearer on Aug. 20, the date set for a vote on whether to move forward with the renovations. Members can cast their votes at a special meeting between 4 and 8 p.m. that evening at the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road.

Mendoza said while supporters of the plan made themselves known at the July 23 meeting, there were others in attendance who appeared to be on the fence. No one, however, appeared overtly hostile to the proposed renovation.

“There were some who were asking questions because they were uncommitted,” said Mendoza, “but no one outright denounced the plan.”

Most members understand the need for the pool to be renovated. Cracks in the pool lining and the failure of old pipes account for the loss of hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually. According to club officials, the 226,560 gallon pool was refilled almost nine times over in 2012 due to leaks.

Many of the features of the pool are also no longer up to code, a finding made in a condition report on the pool back in 2006. Club officials at that time decided to put off renovating the pool, because support wasn’t there.

If there is support for the renovation, plans call for the pool area to be completely reconfigured, although any improvements would be made within the existing footprint of the club.

A new 25-meter, eight-lane pool with a dedicated, deep-water diving well is the centerpiece of the renovation. The pool would rotate from its current east-west axis to a north-south axis to accommodate the diving area.

The eastern portion of the property, which now houses basketball courts, would be converted into an open recreation area. A new state-of-the-art pump house in the northeast corner of the property would also include restrooms.

To the west of the main pool would be an activity pool for younger children. In addition to a two- to three-foot-deep tank, there would also be a zero-depth area for toddlers.

“There’s more water surface area than existing right now and slightly less deck space,” Mendoza said.

The clubhouse, would be extensively renovated within the existing shell, which would largely remain intact.

Throughout the next month, club officials will be encouraging those who support the renovations to tout the plan to fellow members. The club will also send out notices for the Aug. 20 vote, along with forms for proxy voting — which could be key to the renovation moving ahead.

Club bylaws state that a majority of the total membership, not just those voting, must vote in favor of the program for it to be approved. Knowing not all members can make the Aug. 20 vote, officials are requesting that members give their proxy votes to a member of the club’s board of directors, who is in favor of the plan. Any member who
fails to cast a vote will be marked as a “no.”

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