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Woodridge Park District Board to Review Final Feasibility Study for Athletic Recreation Center Tuesday

Construction for the recreation center is pending board approval.

The  Board is considering an $18 million construction project to build a 76,000-square-feet athletic recreation center along Janes Avenue.

The center, as currently proposed, would offer basketball and volleyball courts, turf fields, six batting cages, fitness and strength rooms, two aerobics rooms, an elevated track, a café and a child watch area.

Construction could begin in 2014 and be complete in 2015. The Woodridge Park District board reviewed a preliminary feasibility study for the center at a special board meeting Saturday but has yet to approve the project. 

The park district will consider a final feasibility study Tuesday. A date for the vote has not yet been set. 

Two locations are currently proposed for the recreation center:

  • At  near 
  • In an empty lot at the intersection of Janes Avenue and 83rd Street. 

While the Woodridge Park District holds programs in its Community Center, the facility is not sports-related, said Mike Adams, executive director. 

The park district uses  gyms for some programs, but scheduling time has become more difficult as the school district's space needs increase. 

“It’s a little bit tougher each year to program activities,” Adams said. “Our peak usage is early evening hours and weekends, when the school district has all their needs. It’s always been an issue to provide consistent programs on a consistent basis, and it’s getting more difficult to do that.” 

While providing space for athletic programs and fitness, the athletic recreation center would also offer multi-purpose and computer rooms for park district programs. The park district’s summer camp programs and Kidz Squad would utilize the space.

The , under the umbrella of the , could also be moved into the space. The program is currently located in a storefront at the intersection of Janes Avenue and 83rd Street. 

Besides park district program use, residents would be able to purchase memberships for the fitness center and local organizations or teams could rent turf or court time.

Building an athletic recreation center has been part of the park district’s five-year plan since the mid-1990’s, said Mike Adams, executive director for the Woodridge Park District. A comprehensive needs survey from the community pointed to the need for such a center, but the park district hasn't had the funds.

The park district is in a financial position now that allows the project to move forward, Adams said. The construction project would be paid for with park district debt service that is set to expire in 2014 and 2015. No referendum will be required. 

The center would be financially maintained with revenue from fitness memberships, youth programming, court and field rental and more. 

In addition to a new facility, the center under the current proposal would create seven full-time and 12 part-time jobs to oversee programs, facilities and operation.

The park district board will review a final feasibility study for the project in May. If the athletic recreation center is approved, the park district will ask for public input on the project and its design.

More information about the facility will be posted soon on the park district's website to answer residents' questions, Adams said. 

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