Breaking Out the Bathhouse

After nine months of construction, Mayor Pradel and the Naperville community cut the ribbon for Centennial Beach’s new bathhouse. Due to years of wear and tear, the bathhouse was in need of infrastructure changes, including plumbing and electrical enhancements.

According to Brad Wilson, Director of Recreation for Naperville Park District, the project was well overdue.

“It was very important for us to maintain the historical integrity of the bathhouse,” said Wilson. “The bathhouse has been here since 1934 and is a landmark within the community and we wanted to make sure that we preserved that through these renovations, so much detail was given to maintain the historical integrity.”

The designers of Williams Architects of Carol Stream took precautions to preserve the original bathhouse’s limestone exterior. The renovated building’s materials reflect the original model, with added additions like copper gutters on the roof and decorative lamps.

Renovations to the new bathhouse include a new admissions area, front entry, refurbished locker rooms, family changing rooms, and restrooms. All the upgrades were designed to improve comfort and accessibility for beach patrons.

“We have a new front entry drop off area so that cars can come in easily, and drop off their children to be able to go to the beach,” said Wilson.

It was a 5.5 million dollar budget for the renovations and beach goers will share a small part of the cost. Season pass fees will increase a few dollars.

Beyond the new amenities, care was taken to preserve the memories captured in pictures, stories, and signatures on the guardhouse walls. To preserve these stories, staff photographed the old walls and they soon will be on display.

Beach Manager Kelly Doyle said, “Summer after summer you always have the old guards, from even way back that always come in to look for their names on the walls, so I think it was important to make sure that we still have that at the site here so people can still come back and look for their name.”

The Park District hopes beach goers young and old will make new memories in the new bathhouse.

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