Oak Brook Park District unveils master plan
Updated: November 15, 2011 12:43PM
The Oak Brook Park District spent Monday morning presenting its master plan to the users of its facilities.
Park district officials have asked for input from residents, commissioners, staff and eight different focus groups over the past year to put together long and short-term plans for park district facilities and services.
“Nothing’s set in stone,” said Executive Director Laure Kosey, adding Monday’s presentation was mostly to gather feedback about the various improvements the park district hopes to implement.
Park district staff is expected to bring the results of the open house to park commissioners later this month.
Among the phase one projects, tentatively scheduled for completion in one to two years, are a new synthetic soccer field in Central Park, fitness and activity areas throughout the park’s walking paths, new nature paths with informational kiosks, a new sledding hill, a splash pad renovation, a challenge course area, a new maintenance facility and relocation of the Family Recreation Center’s front desk.
“We’re trying to promote more social aspects within the community,” said Ray Lee of SRBL Architects. “Over the next couple of months, we’ll be taking feedback and discuss what directions make sense for them to go. It’s about what the residents and users want.”
SRBL Architects was brought in this August to review the park district’s work and put costs to some of the projects. Kosey estimates phase one could cost upwards of $3 million, paid for through the re-issuance of the district’s non-referendum bonds in 2012.
“The main thing is, we do not want to increase taxes,” Kosey said. “Taxes would remain essentially the same. Once we finalize these projects, we will have to maintain them. Three million dollars is our budget and we will stay within that.”
Items popular with those passing through Monday were new family locker rooms at the rec center, outdoor activity areas in the parks and the challenge course.
Corporate Relations Manager Mary Tansey said the challenge course could be popular with Oak Brook’s corporate community, high schools, boy and girl scouts and church retreats. Tansey said the park district has fielded questions about such a course, adding corporations could use the course to promote team-building.
Phase two includes a fitness course area, a new concrete baggo and bocce area, new expanded parking lot and an expanded disc golf course, with 18 holes.
Phase two’s much smaller projects, which could be completed within five years, have an estimated cost of $100,000 and would be covered by the park district’s capital improvement funds.
Projects that ended up not being considered included reconfiguring the baseball fields, a bike path connecting to the Salt Creek Trail, batting cages, a golf simulator, and an indoor challenge rope course in the gym.
Kosey said some of those projects either cost too much, were already offered nearby, or would interfere with current park district programs.