The proposed "natatorium" addition to the Broadway Armory. Credit: Courtesy 48th Ward Office

EDGEWATER — A proposal to add a pool to the Broadway Armory has received a major boost from the federal government.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky helped secure $2 million for the addition of an indoor swimming pool to be built on the site of the existing parking lot at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway, her office announced last month.

Adding a pool to the Park District-run armory building was one of the proposals included in Ald. Harry Osterman’s (48th) community vision for Broadway unveiled in June.

The pool would be built on the Armory’s parking lot just north of the building. Osterman said he pushed for a pool on the site to add a public amenity that can benefit the entire city.

The facility would benefit older people as the Armory houses the Edgewater Senior Center, Osterman said. It would also boost year-round lifeguard training and youth swimming lessons, Osterman and Schakowsky said.

“It was a lot of years looking at a parking lot and imagining what could be different,” Osterman said. “It’s also about the fact that we don’t have a public pool.”

The project has an estimated budget of $10 million, Osterman said. Preliminary talks with the Park District are ongoing. Osterman, who is retiring this spring, said he is working to secure additional funding for the project before he wraps up his time in office.

“The federal money is really important because not one source is going to pay for this whole thing,” Osterman said.

A farmers market is held in the Broadway Armory parking lot, where a pool addition to the facility is proposed. Credit: Courtesy Edgewater Chamber of Commerce

A spokesperson for the Park District said officials are looking into the proposal and community input will be part of the discussion.

“A timeline for the project will be developed after further investigation and community input to provide a full scope of the project and determine project costs,” the spokesperson said.

The $2 million for the pool is included in this year’s federal budget and is part of more than $26 million secured for projects in Schakowky’s Far North Side and north suburban district, including the renovation of the closed High Ridge YMCA.

Schakowsky said she sought funding for the facility because it will promote community health.

“The addition of a pool at the bustling Broadway Armory will provide an exciting new opportunity for the Edgewater community and will help residents stay active year-round,” the congresswoman said in a statement.

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