Lakeside Waterpark closed for the year

The City of Galesburg has made what they call a “difficult decision” in keeping Lakeside Waterpark closed for the 2020 season.

As soon as a few weeks ago Parks and Rec Director Tony Oligney-Estill held some hope for opening the municipal waterpark. But even then he cited the same difficulties in opening that the city says are some of the reasons they can’t open.

For one, they didn’t get any clear guidance from the State of Illinois until June 22. There was also the challenge of staffing, since they were unable to hire and train in the spring, and would need additional staff to implement public safety standards.

This all comes as reduced capacity limits would be in place, and while parks and rec facilities and programs never make money, the city thought the cost-benefit analysis favored keeping the pool closed.

The City has opened Lake Story Beach and Kiwanis Splash Pad. Wading pools at parks throughout the City are in the process of being opened, and playground equipment is once again open for children to enjoy. The lake and walking trails at Lake Storey Park are both open, and boat rentals are available.

But after weighing all scenarios and options, City administration ultimately decided that remaining closed for Summer 2020 was the most “fiscally and socially responsible decision.” Oligney-Estill says, “We pride ourselves on offering Parks and Recreation amenities to citizens, so this was a very difficult decision to make.”

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