Jacob Siciliano, Online Editor-in-Chief

“Arlington Heights is a swimming town” Superintendent of recreational facilities Steve Neill said.

According to him, it’s been that way ever since the WPA finished Rec Park’s swimming pool in 1939. 

However, last season the Park district closed down Arlington’s pools for the beginning of the season, marking the first time the pool has closed its doors since the polio epidemic forced the park district’s hand in 1943.

Pools eventually were able to open up on June 26.  In the summer of 2020 with limited capacity. According to Neill, it was a very different feel in comparison to prior seasons.

“It was almost 100 degrees on the opening weekend of 2017 and there must have been 1,000 people in Pioneer pool. All you saw was heads.” Neil said.

Believe it or not, Arlington Heights has a chance to return to that experience with Illinois expected to move into phase 5 on Jun. 11. Illinois currently finds itself under the bridge phase, which allows for 100 people at the park districts’ pools. But, even if Illinois enters phase 5, capacity restrictions may not disappear. 

“When we enter [phase five] we’ll see what that new normal means. I don’t have a definition  on that yet” Neill said, “I don’t want to say 100% that [capacity restrictions] will go away, but we didn’t even know there was going to be a bridge phase until a month ago.”

For pool-goers even the news that pools have a chance to return to normal is thrilling

“It’s pretty exciting. I know a lot of people are excited to go back to the pool. Going to the pool is something that anyone can do on a day that you have nothing else to do. It’s nice just to sit back and relax” Junior John Svoboda said.

For the time being AHPD’s pools will still be reservation only. Similar to a restaurant setting, masks will be required while entering and walking around the pool. When a person enters the water they are able to take their mask off to swim. However, all guidelines will be subject to change with the peaks and valleys of the pandemic.

“We’re pivoting, evolving, changing, adapting, whatever word you want to use. That’s the way this whole year has been. Just like what you guys have gone through at school, every month is different”