Statement regarding the Doings Article the was published 3/9/2023: The Community Park District is aware of the referendum article written and published by The Doings on March 9 and would like to clarify the following: -The tax impact stated in the article is per month -The bond issuance would not include phase 2 of the recreation center expansion. Instead, it would provide the infrastructure to build a green roof and new administrative offices when financially feasible. If you have any additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should the two referenda measures pass on April 4, the Community Park District would enter into "Phase 1" of the Recreation Center Renovation. This proposed plan would strengthen the financial performance of the park district by generating revenue that would position the park district to fund future capital improvements to the facility and help pay for future improvements districtwide. "Phase 1" includes:
- The addition of a gymnasium with a transitional athletic court that can be used for Basketball, Volleyball, Pickleball, and more
- Indoor walking space
- Re-located main entrance
- Secured entrance for Ready Teddy Preschool and Summer Camp
- Outdoor access to restrooms
- Renovated parking lot
- Outdoor access to a new concession area
- Locker area
- New lobby with centralized customer service
- Infrastructure for the later addition of a green roof
- Infrastructure for the later addition of an elevator
- Infrastructure for the later addition of second floor administrative offices
Preliminary estimates indicate that the 1st floor addition and light renovations to the existing recreation center will cost around $10.7 million, with contingency for construction and design/engineering included.
If both measures pass, the Community Park District would complete Phase 1 of the Recreation Center Expansion Click here to see the full proposed renovation.
The Community Park District is one of the lowest funded park districts in Cook County. While improvements in the district's cost recovery model and the recent addition of programming that generates significant revenue have allowed the district to keep up with increases in water and utility costs, inflation, minimum wage increases and more, an expanded facility would require additional hours and maintenance and program revenue and usage fees would not be available immediately.
The additional $150,000 annual investment would allow the park district to increase operating hours, plan for routine maintenance and increased supplies, and account for increased utilities. Once the facility becomes self-funding and generates additional revenue, the district will reallocate this funding to park maintenance and the advancement of capital park improvements.
Revenue generated from additional recreational programming, grants and alternative revenue would fund the second phase of the Recreation Center renovation. This would include a full renovation of the original recreation center to add additional programming space and move administrative offices to the second story. The estimated cost of of this phase is approximately $4.2 million and the park district would assess the need and feasibility of completion in 2030/31. Click here to see the full proposed renovation.
The Community Park District has been made aware that there are amateur schematics being circulated showing that a proposed gymnasium with a stage will not fit on the existing property. It is important to note that the images and information produced to support this statement have not been created by an architect and do not utilize a plat of survey. Furthermore, the author uses aerial Google images and does not account for existing roof overhang and other architectural elements of the original structure.
During the Master Planning process, the Community Park District utilized a team of professionals including landscape architects and an architectural firm specializing in the design of public facilities to analyze and incorporate community feedback in order to propose solutions that best meet our community’s needs and are financially feasible for the park district. Prior to deciding to go to referendum, we engaged a second architect to confirm probable cost estimates and to ensure that we are proposing something that can fit within the La Grange Park's means.
During the planning process, architects developed a recreation center expansion concept that included a walking track, locker rooms, a new lobby, and gymnasium. When the original concept was presented to the community, it was requested that we incorporate more opportunities for youth and adult cultural arts programming and community events. Other feedback indicated that a full-service locker room would not be necessary. At that point, the architects added the stage to the back of the building but did not reduce the size of the proposed locker area.
The plan now available to residents is schematic in nature to indicate what is provided in the addition and roughly where the addition is going. Adjustments to the plan will be made as we work through the design and zoning approval process.
In the spirit of consistency and transparency, we will use the same schematic throughout our communications and conversations regarding the referendum, but we are happy to show how different variations of the same amenities can fit on the existing property (click here for additional schematics).
If both measures pass, we will work with the community on finishes and details to ensure that we are providing the best facility we can within our limited resources.