Aquatic Centers Retrofit


The Aquatic Centers Retrofit initiative will perform comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades for up to 66 aquatic centers managed by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and 75 aquatic centers managed by the Chicago Park District (CPD).



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Aquatic Centers Retrofit Details


Aquatic centers consume a substantial amount of energy, both in the form of natural gas and electricity, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year in order to maintain the appropriate operating conditions.  Managing an aquatic center requires ongoing monitoring of the internal and external temperatures, humidity levels, structure types, ventilation, pool water chemistry and equipment.  Obtaining the most efficient equipment requires high up-front and ongoing capital costs.

The Trust has received an unsolicited proposal to upgrade these aquatic centers and their respective host buildings using the savings generated, as well as private sector capital and implementation management.  The Trust will work across City of Chicago Departments and the City’s Sister Agencies to coordinate this project.  The project will include a full evaluation of the energy equipment critical for the operations of dehumidification, building controls, proper air flow and ventilation, boilers, chillers or rooftop units, pumps, heat exchangers and lighting.


User experience

  • Elevates comfort and user satisfaction
  • Improves air quality
  • Increases pool safety
  • Increases reliability of operations


  • Achieves Mayor’s 2015 Sustainability Goal #4 to improve overall energy efficiency in municipal buildings by 10%
  • Reduces carbon footprint


  • Maintains pool regulatory compliance


  • Creates jobs
  • Reduces operating costs


  • City of Chicago leads by example for other sectors across the City

In addition to these benefits, the Trust values several of the proposal’s key attributes:

1) The proposed project would be paid for entirely out of the energy savings it would create in the City’s pools and buildings.

2) Neither the City nor Chicago’s taxpayers would be asked to take any of the energy savings risk associated with the project.

3) The project could be financed in a manner that would be off-credit and off-balance sheet to the City.

4) Investment-grade energy audit costs and energy savings guarantees are rolled into overall project financing.

Open Bidding Process

As the Trust and the City are committed to performing cost-effective upgrades on buildings that improve the lives of our City’s residents, the Trust is commencing an open bidding process on this proposal.

Any party that wishes to offer its proposal for an energy efficient pools project is invited to do so at by May 2, 2014 at 5 PM CT.  If the Trust receives additional proposals from interested parties (other than the proponent of the initial unsolicited proposal) as a result of this open bidding process, it will select the best candidate(s) from the pool of interested parties.  All interested parties are encouraged to apply and to clearly state their scope of work, capabilities and qualifications for participating in such a transaction.

To enable respondents to better craft their response, please leverage the Schools and Parks pools inventories which include location, energy usage, and recent upgrades.

The proposal must include at least one (1) financial partner capable of financing the transaction, preferably in an off-credit and off-balance sheet structure such as an ESA (Energy Services Agreement).  Please refer to this ESA guide for more information.  Interested financial partners may also respond independently to this proposal if they choose, but should list any restrictions they may have on engineering or contracting partners whose projects they are willing to finance.

Aquatic Centers Retrofit Documents

Title Date Initiative Type Format
Intergovernmental Agreement 01/14/2015 Aquatic Centers Retrofit Terms PDF

Aquatic Centers Retrofit Timeline


Trust conducts project briefing with the Mayor's staff.


Trust conducts energy program briefing with the Mayor's energy policy staff.


Trust conducts project briefing with the Mayor's staff.


Trust receives unsolicited proposal to perform comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades for up to 141 aquatic centers managed by Chicago Public Schools and the Park District across 48 wards.


Level One audit meetings begin with Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park District.


Open Bidding Process begins.


Open Bidding Process closes with the Trust receiving alternative proposals from additional interested project bidders.


Trust Board of Directors approves Aquatic Centers Retrofit project, permitting Trust to engage one or more contractors to conduct the retrofit upgrades and to negotiate financing terms.


Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners authorizes an Intergovermental Agreement with the Trust to provide energy efficiency services to up to 68 parks districtwide.