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West Chicago Park District’s Turtle Splash Aquatic Center Closes Prematurely For Season

West Chicago Voice - The voice of West Chicago, Illinois - digital local news - for locals by locals . WCParks Turtle Splash Facility closes prematurely for the season
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A closed for the season notice appears on The West Chicago Park District website.

The West Chicago Park District recently posted a notice on its social media platforms expressing gratitude to residents for their support throughout the year while also announcing the closure of the Turtle Splash facility for the season.

Typically, the facility at 129 W National Street in West Chicago remains operational from Memorial Day until Labor Day weekend, occasionally extending its operating hours. However, the sudden announcement left residents perplexed and curious about the reasons behind the seemingly premature conclusion of the season. It is well-known that the seasonal staff at the facility mostly consists of high school and college students. However, with the fall semester starting at West Chicago Community High School on August 14 and other local colleges like College of DuPage beginning on August 21, many of these employees had to return to their classrooms, resulting in a shortage of staff and ultimately leading to the closure.

“Safety is a big concern for us while operating an aquatic facility, we didn’t have enough staff to operate at a level we felt comfortable with so our season ended a bit early”  Recreation Director, Ben Nelson said.

Nelson expressed that despite an early end to the season and a delayed start in May due to construction, the facility had a successful season overall. Turtle Splash encountered a leak during the 2022 season and required repairs prior to this year’s opening along with regular maintenance. Moving forward to the 2024 season, the pool anticipates returning to its usual schedule and operating hours.

Residents took to social media to express their disappointment and frustration with the lack of information provided regarding the closure. Many had planned to utilize the facility during the remaining weeks of summer and over the Labor Day weekend. With the abrupt closure, it left them scrambling to find alternative options.

The Turtle Splash facility has been a popular destination for families and individuals looking to escape the recent bouts of  sweltering summer heat. With its array of water slides, pools, and other attractions, it has become a staple in the community’s summer activities. The closure not only affects the residents but also has an economic impact on the local businesses that rely on the influx of visitors during the summer months.

While it is understandable that scheduling conflicts arise with the start of the academic year, residents are disappointed by the lack of communication and advanced notice provided by the West Chicago Park District. They believe that better planning and coordination could have ensured a smoother transition and avoided the frustration experienced by many.

As the community looks forward to future summers, they hope that lessons will be learned from this situation and that improved communication and transparency will be prioritized. The Turtle Splash facility holds a special place in the hearts of many residents, and they eagerly await its reopening next year.

Update 09/01/23 2:44 p.m. :  In an effort to be fair,  The West Chicago Voice would like readers to know, that Toucan’s Hideaway (play area and splash pad) will continue to be open this weekend. The West Chicago Park District would like residents to know that their Toucan’s Hideaway and the splash pad area of Reed-Keppler Park will be open this Saturday,  Sunday, and Monday (Labor Day) September 2-4 between the hours of 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. As always, admission is free. Toucan Hideaway is located within the park with a rear entrance for guests, this portion of the facility is available for rentals for birthdays, parties, and corporate events as well.


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