Chicago Daily Herald
Arlington Heights village trustees on Monday gave the go-ahead to the park district's plans for a two-story, 32,000-square-foot addition at the Olympic Indoor Swim Center. When complete, the addition on the north and west sides of the building at 660 N. Ridge Ave. is expected to include a gymnasium with second-floor indoor walking track, a 30-by-50-foot warm water pool, a fitness area and multipurpose rooms.
"This project has been waiting in the wings for 30 years. I'm so excited you guys are finally doing it," Trustee Jim Tinaglia told park district officials. "This is what our community needs. This is the right site for it." The village board voted unanimously to approve the building addition, site improvements and a special-use permit, and variations for parking and to allow fencing.
The board reviewed an alternate plan that included a gym with space for two full-sized basketball courts, which the park district would build if bids were favorable. The district has budgeted $16 million for the work: $4 million from reserves and up to $12 million in loans. If the bids are too high, a smaller gym would be constructed and one of the basketball courts would remain outside, according to plans.
The expansion would mean removal of tennis courts and a skate park, though Ben Rea, the district's director of parks and planning, said officials are looking to relocate it somewhere else in town. The playground would be replaced, and Safety Town would stay. The soccer fields on the west side of the park would be reduced from one full and one half-sized soccer field to only one field, due to the expansion of the parking lot and a stormwater detention facility in the southwest corner of the site.
Rea said construction of the addition is slated to begin in June. Portions of the facility would close starting next spring for other renovations. That would include conversion of existing locker rooms to multipurpose rooms and installation of accessible stairs at the existing lap pool. The project would be complete by fall 2019.
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