By James R. Scott, The Chicago Times
June 29, 2022
CHICAGO – As the lifeguard shortage stretches into the heat of summer, the Chicago Park District will divert lifeguards from North Avenue Beach and Calumet Park Beach to open 37 Chicago area pools by July 5.
Currently, 55% of the targeted number of qualified seasonal lifeguards have completed the hiring process, which will allow the Park District to open 22 of 49 outdoor pools and 15 of 28 indoor pools.
The Park District also announced that there will be limited access to under used areas of North Avenue Beach south of Fullerton, and Calumet Park Beach north of the Coast Guard Station. In addition, there will be no access for swimming at 12th Street Beach due to construction.
According to the Park District, city pools will be open between 11 am to 7 pm, five days a week depending on capacity.
The Park District also partnered with Chicago Public Schools to make school pools available to residents that do not have a local pool.
“Despite the many challenges we’ve faced hiring lifeguards, including the national shortage, we have not given up and remain committed to a pool opening plan rooted in safety first. This plan allows us to maximize our limited workforce to open as many pools as possible so that families across the city have access to and can enjoy neighborhoods pools this summer as well as the beaches.” Rosa Escareno, Park District Superintendent, said in a statement.
A full list of pools opening on July 5 and the hours of operation can be accessed at the Chicago Park District’s website.