ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A local aquatic center in St. Charles is shutting down just weeks before summer begins.

The McNair Aquatic Facility won’t be filled with children and families anymore. The St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department is closing the center, effective immediately. It’s due to age and the cost of repairing the facility.

“Unfortunately, after 31 years of operation, it got to the point where mechanically, and structurally it’s no longer feasible to operate this aquatic facility anymore,” said Chris Atkinson, assistant director of the St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department. “So, pardon the pun, we’re going to pull the plug on McNair Aquatic Facility.”

The City of St. Charles built three aquatic facilities for residents in 1992 and 1993: McNair, Blanchette, and Wapelhorst.

After the 2014 aquatics facility audit, they went to voters and asked them to pass the sales tax for Proposition P, which dedicated $18 million to replace Wapelhorst and Blanchette facilities. McNair’s days were numbered.

“The mechanical system is 31 years old; the concrete is 31 years old; the plumbing underground is 31 years old,” Atkinson said. “We’ve had a leak we’ve been working to try and detect.”

A substantial leak under the pool shell can completely drain the 165,000-gallon pool in days unless it is continuously filled.

Due to staffing issues, McNair closed in 2022. It averaged 100 people a day back in 2021, while Blanchette averaged 500 and Wapelhorst averaged 900 people a day.

“This is a 2.5-acre tract of land in a pretty old park in a good location in the city,” Atkinson said. “Although we’re sad that the aquatic facility is closing down, this is an opportunity to see what’s next for this park.”

The parks and rec department is soliciting ideas for the 2.5-acre area on its Facebook page. The next phase for the park will be announced later this year.