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Chicago Daily Herald
The Arlington Heights Park District has revealed blueprints for its proposed $16 million expansion and renovation of the Olympic Indoor Swim Center. Park district staff and board members reviewed as many as four floor plan concepts developed by FGM Architects before settling on one — sketches of which have been posted on the district's website and presented during three public open houses last week. They're also considering three exterior concepts, which vary only in the amount of window glass versus bricks used.
The park board could make a selection as early as their meeting Tuesday night. The project calls for the addition of a gymnasium with indoor walking track, a warm water pool, a fitness area and multipurpose rooms. It marks the first major renovation at Olympic, 660 N. Ridge Ave., since a $5 million upgrade in 2004.
Of the proposed 32,000-square-foot addition, the largest part would be a 12,880-square-foot gym — large enough to fit one full basketball court. A walking track would be installed on the second floor, overlooking the gym. The court would be available not only for basketball but also for volleyball and pickleball, which has seen its popularity grow, district officials say. It would mirror the gymnasium addition built at Camelot Park in 2014, the district's last major capital project.
A 30-by-50-foot warm water pool for group exercise classes and parent-and-tot swim lessons, and a 4,714-square-foot fitness center and locker rooms would be constructed west of the current building, according to plans. Existing locker rooms would be converted to multipurpose rooms, and accessible stairs would be installed at the lap pool.
Brian Meyer, the district's director of recreation and facilities, said the park's soccer fields wouldn't be affected, but the gym addition, proposed for the north side of the building, would likely mean removal of an outdoor basketball court, tennis courts and skate park. Meyer said the skate park could be relocated on or off site, while a new playground would be installed to replace the current one, built in 2009.
The park district's Safety Town could remain at Olympic, though that's still up for discussion. Should bids for the Olympic upgrades come in low, there's a potential to add another gym of the same size, as long as overall costs stay within the $16 million budget, Meyer said.
The district plans to pay for the expansion with $4 million from reserves and by borrowing up to $12 million. Officials plan to issue $8.5 million of debt certificates and $635,000 of limited park bonds on Dec. 20. The balance of costs may be undertaken through a separate debt issue in late 2018, Meyer said. Officials say the project wouldn't result in a tax increase, since the district would issue new debt as old debt is paid off. The project still requires review by the village's design and plan commissions and village board.
The district plans to go out to bid in the spring, with construction set to begin in May and be complete by fall 2019.
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