Facilities & Parks: Park Improvements
The Park District of Forest Park has become aware of the possible opportunity to acquire the Roos Property immediately to the east of the Park. The acquisition and development of the property, however, cannot be accomplished without increased tax revenue and so the District has brought the issue to voters. Read more about potential plans for the Roos Property on the 2010 Referendum page.
In addition, since 2005, the Board of Park Commissioners has been working on completing projects outlined in a five-year Comprehensive Master Capital Improvement Plan for the Park District. The Board and staff are very proud of the changes and improvements that have been planned and believe they will ensure more enjoyable park facilities for everyone. Projects that have been accomplished to date include:
- Aquatic Center Waterslide Restoration After ten successful pool seasons, all four waterslides needed to be resurfaced. In addition to re-gelcoating the slides, we have made them seamless to eliminate leaky seams and to provide a smoother, more enjoyable ride.
- Total Renovation of Recreation Building # 4 Located north of the tennis courts at Sansone Drive and Hannah Avenue, this building was built in the 1950’s as the “warming house” for an outdoor artificial ice rink. This building houses our Before and After School Fun Camp program and our Summer Day Camp Program and is used as a meeting area for many community groups. The West Suburban Special Recreation Association also operates programs at this facility. Improvements made include a new main entrance with vestibule on the west side of the building, improved and updated heating and air-conditioning, remodeled handicapped accessible restrooms, new tile flooring, improved exterior lighting and interior and exterior painting. We believe these improvements will provide a brighter, more cheerful setting for both our campers and other building users.
- Skatepark Construction Grind boxes, quarter pipes, spines, launch boxes, mini half-pipes, rails, jump ramps and banks are among the many obstacles that are featured at the Park’s new skatepark. This new recreational skatepark facility, planned in response to community input, is our village’s first and only skatepark and will help get the kids and their boards off the streets, providing them with a safe and enjoyable environment. After much research and with recommendations from recreational planning and design consultants, the Park Board decided to install a modular skatepark system for endless creativity and changeability. A modular system can be moved and rearranged, unlike a stationary system, which cannot. The equipment that has been chosen for this facility is Landscape Structures “Skatewave” equipment.
- Distance Marked Walking Circuit Using existing the existing pathway system, a distance-marked walking circuit has been created in the Park. This system allows students, joggers and walkers using the Park to more easily measure distance.
- Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Main Administrative Building The Park District’s Main Administration Building/Fieldhouse was constructed in 1937 and 1938 for an original cost of $125,000. The two -and-a-half story English Tudor style building, with a Bedford limestone exterior, was designed by a local Forest Park architect, Carl J. Kastrup. The building was constructed by a work force comprised of over 300 men that were assigned to the project by the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) After sixty-eight years of proudly serving the community, this historic W.P.A. landmark was in need of some major rehabilitation and restoration. During implementation of the Comprehensive Master Capital Improvement Plan the English Tudor facade entry gable, located on the south side and center of the building, has had all of the existing timbers and stucco removed and restored to the original design. Repairs were made to the remaining English Tudor facade on the north side and entrance staircase tower. Decaying timbers have been replaced and the stucco walls have been repaired and repainted. The main work over the past year has been the restoration of the veranda roof on the west and north sides of the building, as well as the refurbishment and rebuilding of the limestone parapet walls. A paver system has been installed on top of the deck and a 42″high safety handrail system has been added to the parapet walls. The new veranda deck area may be used as an observation/sun deck for the Aquatic Center and can also be used as an outdoor meeting/gathering area for building users. Other work completed on the Administration Building is tuckpointing, masonry repairs, window lintel replacements, replacement of light fixtures, new gutters and downspouts around the tower and repairs to the underside of the concrete veranda roof deck. We are very proud of the most noticeable improvement: the addition to the east side of the Administration Building that includes a new entryway, lobby, elevator tower and handicapped accessible restrooms, as well as offices and Board Meeting Room.
Plans, including the repaving of Ken Stange Parkway and the renovation of our maintenance garage, are being formulated for more improvements that will allow the Park District to better serve the community and enhance facilities over the next two years