Rantoul swimming pool opens Saturday

A Rantoul swimmer, complete with body paint, competes in a swim meet in this Rantoul Press file photo. The Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center opens for the season Saturday.

RANTOUL — Forty-five lifeguards descended on the Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center during the weekend.

It was all in preparation for the upcoming swim season, which begins Saturday, May 25.

The training included CPR and lifeguard certification.

Todd Brooks, fitness and aquatics supervisor for the Rantoul Rec Department, said Thursday the pool has been filled with 350,000 gallons of water.

“We have all the chemicals in place and are putting finishing touches on some things,” Brooks said.

The pool opens at noon on opening day.

Something new at the pool is early access to the facility — at 11:30 a.m. — for those people who buy annual passes. The early access is available only on weekends.

Weekend hours are noon to 7 p.m. Weekday hours are 1 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday will be family night. The pool will be open from 7 to 9 p.m.

An end-of-year VIP party will also be held for anyone who buys an annual pass.

“It will be like a thank you for buying a pass, and they can come in and swim,” Brooks said.

He said with the uncertainty of whether the Paxton pool would be open, some lifeguards who normally would have worked there, applied to work at Rantoul.

Several also went through training during the weekend.

After voting in April not to open the Paxton pool during daytime hours (it would have been open only from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday), the Paxton Park Board earlier this month voted to restore daytime hours.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com