After an all-hands-on-deck recruitment effort to ramp up staffing, the Chicago Park District was able to open the vast majority of its pools Friday for the summer season, the district said.
“The parks team has worked non-stop to attract lifeguards and make this announcement possible,” Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño said.
Nearly 2,000 people applied to be lifeguards, and 650 have been hired after completing required training. The district manages 50 outdoor pools and 27 indoor pools.
Pools will be open five days per week with hours varying by location — either 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Individual pool schedules are posted on the district’s website.
A handful of pools remain closed including Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st St., which is being used as a respite site for asylum seekers.
Other pools are undergoing repairs or renovations:
— Blackhawk Park, 2318 N. Lavergne Ave.; opening temporarily delayed due to mechanical issues.
— Dvorak Park, 1119 W. Cullerton St.; temporarily delayed, mechanical issues.
— Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton Ave.; temporarily delayed, mechanical issues.
— Harris Park, 6200 S. Drexel Ave.; under renovation, expected to open later in the summer.
— Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield Ave.; previously reported as closed, now repaired and open.
After a lifeguard shortage in 2022 saw just a fraction of the district’s pools open, the Park District began an aggressive recruiting campaign in early 2023.
The city’s 22 beaches opened first, with pools now following. More than 200 water spray features will also be turned on Friday.
Pools will close Aug. 20 and beaches will close after Labor Day.
Note: This article originally published June 22 and has been updated with new information.