Keota Pool Has Grand Opening

Back, L to R: Mayor Tony Cansler, Ron Northup, Cindy Detweiler, Luann Cave, Dana Peck, Kathy Davis, Councilman Keith Conrad, Robin Morgan, Councilman Heath McDonald, Linda Werger, Tom Hahn, Nick Beinhart, Scott Flynn, Alycia Horras. Front: Karen Sypherd, Jacquelyn Singmaster Murphy
Casey Jarmes
The News-Review

KEOTA – The Jacquelyn J. Singmaster Murphy Aquatic Center, the new pool in Keota, held a grand opening on June 23, complete with a ribbon cutting. Work on the 98,000 gallon pool began in 2019. The pool was completed last September and opened for its first season on May 25. At the ribbon cutting, Keota Pool and Aquatic Foundation President Nick Beinhart gave his thanks to the pool advocates and the donors who were vital to the completion of the pool. He also took a moment of silence to honor Dan Flynn, the previous Keota Pool and Aquatic Foundation president who passed away shortly before the pool’s completion.

“When I look at this group here, I look at a bunch of people who move mountains and turn the impossible into the possible,” said Beinhart. “Altogether, from the start of fundraising, through donations or grants and through other fundraising purposes, this group raised $2,336,289.35. I’m so proud of everybody here...We’re very happy with the end project. I’d like to announce, as of this week, we got a letter from the city stating that our financial obligation for the pool is completed. We have raised all the funds necessary to build this pool.”

Going forward, the pool will be managed and maintained by the City of Keota. The Keota Pool and Aquatic Foundation will continue operating as a 501c3 and help raise money for the pool. This year, they partnered with Libertyville Savings Bank to give every local child an opportunity to have swim lessons.

“I was the only child. No brothers, no sisters, no children. So I thought, why not help people in my hometown?” said Jacquelyn Singmaster Murphy, a major donor who the pool is named after. “And so that’s exactly what I did. And I’m glad I did it. So many people did so much work to get us here, and so I appreciate everybody’s work.”

“A week ago we had free swim, and we had 270 attendees. That’s not counting the 24 we had for water aerobics and the almost 30 we had for swim lessons,” said City Administrator Alycia Horras. “We had over 300 people in the pool last Thursday, which is pretty awesome. We have such great feedback for our staff, for the facility itself, it’s something that we’ve needed for a really long time...To date, we have 375 season pass holders, and there are several of those that do not live in Keota. We have people coming from other communities, we have families from Washington that have bought season passes. We have three daycares that this is their weekly outing. They come in 16 and 18 passenger vans and come to swim every week. We have over 90 kids that we’re teaching swim lessons to. Water aerobics, there hasn’t been a day that we haven’t had at least 20 people here. A lot of days it’s more like 26 to 28, between the two different classes. We have 22 amazing staff members that are here every day. Two managers...11 lifeguards and we have nine for our concession stand and they work really hard...People are so excited about this pool and just really the blessing it is to our community. There’s several people also that have...bought a season pass just for the therapeutic part of the pool, that actually come in and walk around or swim around because they’ve had knee surgery or a hip replacement or they’ve gone through some kind of major surgery. It’s helping a lot more people than any of us imagined.”

The pool has open swim Monday-Friday from 1:00-5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, the pool also has 12:00-1:00 p.m. lap swim, 5:00-6:00 p.m. water aerobics, and 6:00-8:00 p.m. rental time.



The News-Review

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