By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
The Plainfield Park District has begun the chore of mapping out changes to Bott Park, after a commitment of funds for capital projects was granted by voters.
Last fall, voters approved the issuance of bonds in the amount of $10.5 million, replacing expiring referendum bonds from 2001. That approval gave the park district the go-ahead to move forward on lighting projects, capital improvements, and, most notably, a brand-new rec center.
The district is currently seeking requests for qualifications (RFQ) to secure architectural and construction management services for a new recreation facility, slated to be built at Bott Park on Renwick Road.
The reason for the referendum and new rec center is simple necessity.
“The district currently has no common recreation facility,” noted Executive Director Carlo Capalbo. “Our current facilities that the district owns is the Recreation/Administration Center, The Streams, and the Equestrian Center. All of the other space we utilize is either rental or agreement based.”
Capalbo said the district needs its own gymnasium space.
“Currently the only way the district can run any large area programming is through our collaboration with the school district,” he noted. “While we do work well with the school district, an area we can program and prioritize will greatly help our programming. Also, there is a need to centralize some of our programming. The district’s vision would allow for Bott Park to become the recreation hub of our district… providing both indoor and outdoor amenities for our residents.”
While the timeline isn’t set in stone just yet, things are progressing.
“Once the design work is completed and we are moving toward the construction phase we will have a better timeline,” Capalbo said. “The District would like to have aspects completed by the end of the year, so we can look toward construction in 2018.”
Capalbo added that the timeline will take shape once the board of directors picks the development team. The firms answering the RFQ requests are set to present to the board during this month’s regular meeting.
The project will include the design and construction administration for the development of a 45,000-square foot recreation facility, with a total budget of $7 million.
Specifics of the project include:
- Gymnasium with two full sized courts
- Walking Track
- Pre-School Wing (four rooms)
- Multi-Purpose Rooms
- Fitness Area
- Administrative/Office Space
- Fitness Studio
- Indoor Play Area
The design will also allow for future expansion of the facility.
The referendum cash will pay for more than the rec center. According to Capalbo, the district will also pursue new lighting for the Bott Park ballfields, redevelopment of parks at Kendall Ridge and Van Horn, and playground replacement at Village Green in 2017. Additionally, projects will be laid out for the 2018 calendar year at a later date.