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Chicago Daily Herald
Lombard Park District soon will break ground on a roughly $9.2 million project to build a recreation center on the former Fairwood School site at the southwest corner of Madison Meadow Park.
Park commissioners on Tuesday night approved 19 different bids totaling about $6.4 million for construction of the 38,000-square-foot, two-story building. The rest of the money for the project will pay for architectural fees, furniture, equipment and other expenses.
"I'm really excited to be here and a part of this," Commissioner Sarah Richardt said after the vote. "It's really a nice feeling to do good work."
Commissioner Greg Ludwig said he's excited about the project because the district finally will have its own gymnasium space.
"It's been 90 years in the waiting," Ludwig said.
Park officials said the plan is to start construction next month and finish the work by the end of June 2018.
The recreation center will house two full-size gymnasiums and an elevated running track. The first floor will include offices and two large multipurpose rooms. The second floor will have a 4,800-square-foot fitness center and locker rooms.
Group exercise classes, such as yoga, Pilates and Zumba, will be held in the facility, along with basketball, volleyball, pickleball and other sports leagues and programs. The fitness center is expected to hold 25 to 30 pieces of cardio equipment and seven to 10 weight machines, along with free weights.
The park district did a land swap with Lombard Elementary District 44 to acquire the 5.8-acre property where the center will be built. As part of the deal, the school district demolished the former Fairwood School building.
In exchange, District 44 was given 5.8 acres of park land next to Park View Elementary School. The park district also built a new playground for the school.
"It worked out great for both sides," Executive Director Paul Friedrichs said. "Now they have property north of one of their school buildings. If they ever need to expand, they have that property to do that."
The park district project will not require a tax increase, officials said, and will be funded by reserves, non-referendum bonds and money from future budgets.
Residents who responded to surveys in 2011 and 2013 supported a new indoor recreation facility, but not a tax increase.
The $9.2 million total cost for the project is about $1.6 million less than what park officials budgeted.
"It was a wonderful bidding environment," Friedrichs said. "We just caught everything at the right time."
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