As Roselle Park District officials gear up for their busiest season, they're also launching a search for a new director.
Heidi Lapin, who served the district for more than five years, resigned at the end of March to pursue graduate studies. Now in her early 30s, Lapin was one of the youngest park directors in the state.
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Roselle park board President Roberta Borrino said Lapin's departure wasn't totally unexpected.
"I think we were aware," Borrino said. "Of course it came as a surprise in the end, but she is going to school working on her masters. And it's a whole other world when you're studying the MBA program for parks and recreation.
"It was wonderful for the district to get those talents and benefits from the classwork. But it can also be applicable for other pursuits," she said.
Borrino said she does not know if Lapin will join another park district. Lapin, who was paid $87,550 a year in Roselle, could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.
No interim director has been named but Borrino said interviews were set for Thursday night and next week. Borrino said the search is a priority, but plans for summer programs already are in place.
"There's never a good time to uproot, but everything is in place for the summer, so it's a good transitional time," said Borrino. "But we do need somebody because it is a really busy time with summer programs and the pool opening.
"We know there's a wonderful pool of talent within the Illinois parks and recreation community, so we're looking for someone who fits with the people, the staff and the great things we have going now."
The park district serves about 18,000 residents and owns more than 160 acres of land and facilities.
After joining the district as superintendent of recreation in 2004, Lapin became director in 2008. She oversaw projects such as the reconstruction of Kemmerling Park and Pool and the revamping of the Clauss Recreation Fitness Center.
The new director will face projects involving renovating and upgrading baseball fields and upgrading the Scout Lodge on Pine Street, Borrino said.