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posted: 4/6/2010 12:01 AM

Lindenhurst Park District seeking input for next phase of master plan

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  • Lindenhurst Park District officials are seeking input from residents about the next phase additions to the Community Center on Grass Lake Road. Here, students in the after-school program play at the existing facility.

       Lindenhurst Park District officials are seeking input from residents about the next phase additions to the Community Center on Grass Lake Road. Here, students in the after-school program play at the existing facility.
    Vincent Pierri | Staff Photographer

 
By Vincent Pierri

The Lindenhurst Park District is seeking consultants, and they need thousands of them.

Looking ahead to the next phase in the ongoing improvements at the Community Center, park officials need to know what residents want most in the new addition.

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A Needs Assessment Survey will be mailed to 2,000 of district's 15,000 residents at the end of the month. Kansas-based, Leisure Vision, will conduct the $14,500 study and expects a minimum of 400 responses.

Residents who complete the six-page questionnaire will give their opinions on what should be included in the $5.2 million third phase of Community Center on Grass Lake Road. The last survey was done in 2004.

Getting resident opinions on future development is essential, parks Director Tom Lippert said.

"This is critical. This will help big-time," he said. "This is going to help us determine what people want most. We don't want to build out and have a bunch of rooms sit empty."

Park district officials expect residents to request space for programs to benefit the 55-and-older crowd given the number of aging Baby boomers. Lippert thinks they'll also want space for preschool classes, more fitness and health facilities and equipment for cooking classes.

The demand for a pool is obvious, Lippert said. But an aquatic facility is out of the question for now. Lippert said it would be cost prohibitive at a time when the economy is down.

"The only way for the pool to happen would be for us to enter into a partnership with a neighboring community or by a referendum," Lippert explained.

In the best-case-scenario, officials could finalize the ideas by the end of the year and begin construction in 2012, Lippert said. The money would come from a variety of sources, including reduced rate loans made available from federal stimulus money, along with program fees and facility rental charges.

He's hoping the district will be able to install a full kitchen and spaces large enough to accommodate bridal showers, or other big parties that generate rental fees.

The survey is more than a formality. Based on the results, the next phase could be scaled back or not done at all.

"We have to be concerned about payback," Lippert said.

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