Recreation

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CRC Renovation & Expansion

The Wheeling Park District officially broke ground on an $18.8 million renovation and expansion of the Community Recreation Center Monday, May 7, during a ceremony attended by the community.

The project will add 42,000 square feet of space, including another gymnasium and enlarged fitness center, and renovate the existing facility at 100 Community Boulevard in Wheeling. It will take about 16 months to complete and the CRC will remain open throughout construction so that programming and services can continue.

“Our residents and guests have voiced a strong desire for more gym space, an expanded fitness center and additional larger program areas,” said Jan Buchs, Executive Director, Wheeling Park District. “It is our responsibility to meet the needs of the community. From their input and feedback, we have developed a plan and look forward to offering a 21st century facility to better serve our residents and guests now and into the future.”

With several new apartment developments along Dundee Road underway as well as Senior Services relocating to the CRC, the park district is growing its facility to accommodate more residents.

The enlarged Fitness Center will incorporate more cardio and strength equipment, areas for stretching and personal training, space for group exercise and new locker rooms. A separate entrance into the fitness area will potentially allow the park district to increase hours of operation. A second gym will provide more open gym time and additional space for leagues and tournaments. In addition, the existing CRC spaces will be renovated.

About $14 million of the cost will be covered by funds in the capital reserve budget. An intergovernmental agreement was reached with the Village of Wheeling to apply $1.8 million in tax increment financing funds. The remaining amount would be paid for by issuing debt.

MEADOWBROOK PARK

As part of the Wheeling Park District Neighborhood Park Improvement Plan, the tot lot playground in the 2.8-acre park, located at 425 Nancy Lane in Wheeling, has been expanded to provide play equipment for children ages 5 to 12 years, Additional swings, individual play pieces, benches and a new trellis structure were installed.

The new playground is the result of the Wheeling Park District “People-Driven Playground Design Process”. Beginning with a “listening session” in September 2017, the Meadowbrook Park neighbors assisted Park District staff in planning and designing the new playground.  As with previous park improvement projects, all the play equipment and new amenities were installed by Park District staff.

The new play equipment features various slides, climbing apparatus, overhead activities, decks and play panels as well as an artificial rock feature.  New belt swings and a tire swing also have been added, in addition to an individual stand-and-spin play piece.  The new surfacing matches the existing safety surface. A new, attractive trellis/shelter also has been constructed and benches are provided around the playground offering multiple areas for seating.

HERITAGE PARK

Heritage Park is a 100+-acre nature area, recreation venue and community gathering place featuring a Sports Complex, Performance Pavilion, shelter, lake and walking paths. This valued natural resources and open space helps protect and enhance the environment. Natural habitats, recreation areas, outdoor learning program opportunities and important flood control and management add to the quality of life for those who live and work in Wheeling and nearby areas.

This summer, permanent signage will be installed at three locations – Wolf Road vehicular entrance, Jeffery Avenue pedestrian path and the Sports Complex entry. This enhancement will help guests more easily identify park access points as well as locate amenities.

After much planning and design, construction of the Heritage Park playground is scheduled to begin late this summer.  Starting with design workshops conducted with the Summer Camp groups and following through with a location analysis and schematic design charrette performed by Park District staff, the vision for a unique and creative playground addition to Heritage Park will become reality.

This highly desired feature of Heritage Park includes a five- to 12-year age group play structure focusing on connectivity with a variety of play elements including climbing, sliding, overhead features and balance.  The two- to five-year age-group play structure included for younger children focuses on inclusive, imaginative and active play.  An area dedicated to swings features belt swings, tot swings and a “friendship swing” that allows two individuals to face each other while swinging.  An arc swing for multiple children is also part of the playground. A large “global motion” spinner is featured as well as an area of musical instruments for an impromptu musical performance.

Centrally located within the playground area is a play hill with a long roller slide, a two-rail slide and a wavy climber. The safety surface of the playground is constructed of completely accessible “artificial turf” in a whimsical design of green, blue and tan colors with a hill of green. An exciting, standout feature of the playground is a unique “cloud roof” on each play structure highlighting the Heritage Park logo as well as the “Wander, Play, Discover” theme of Heritage Park.

The playground area also will include new landscaping and a bio-retention rain garden highlighting the Park District’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

The Heritage Park playground is expected to be completed by November 2018.

Prospect Heights Park District

It is not uncommon to find young people returning to childhood neighborhoods and schools to raise their own families. And Prospect Heights is no exception. These residents have deep community roots and identify with local parks and schools. It is quite common to hear Prospect Heights Park District users say “I remember being at this Park as a kid and …” Their childhood memories encourage them to make better memories for their future.

For over 50 years, the Prospect Heights Park District has been serving most of the City of Prospect Heights and small portions of the Villages of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect and Wheeling. The next 50 years look just as promising as the past 50.

The Prospect Heights Park District provides enjoyable recreation programs and events and quality facilities and parks. The outstanding summer camp, preschool, trips and special events speak for themselves. The district has 14 parks, golf course, swimming pool, fields, tennis courts, playgrounds and picnic areas. The recreation center houses a fitness room, gym, racquetball court and more. The district’s Old Orchard Country Club boasts 18-holes and beautiful landscaped grounds.

In the last several years, the district has installed a short game practice area at the golf course in collaboration with St. Viator High School and created a nature preserve at Lions Park in collaboration with ComEd and the Natural Resource Commission. A racquetball court at the recreation center was converted into a fitness studio and the tennis courts at both Lions and Country Gardens Parks were renovated.

New playground equipment was installed at both School Street and Lions Parks. An additional bus and fleet of golf carts were purchased. It is evident that ongoing efforts to improve facilities, amenities and programs are top priorities for the district. A vibrant park district is another incentive for young people to return to Prospect Heights, raise their own families and create more memories.

The Old Orchard Country Club is the perfect venue to make memories celebrating a wedding, shower or retirement. Floor-to-ceiling window views of the ponds, fountains, trees and flowered paths provide a gorgeous backdrop for events. The ballroom can host up to 400 guests. If you are seeking a gorgeous venue with an amazing menu, 2019 dates are still available to host an event at the country club.