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updated: 5/5/2011 6:38 PM

Carol Stream rec center edges forward

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  • A planned 87,400-square-foot recreation center in Carol Stream has received zoning approval from the village board.

    A planned 87,400-square-foot recreation center in Carol Stream has received zoning approval from the village board.
    Courtesy Carol Stream Park District


Carol Stream's planned recreation center took another step forward this week following zoning approvals by the village board.

The 87,400-square-foot center will be constructed at the southwest corner of Gary Avenue and Fountain View Drive at the Town Center. It's the marquee project of a $37 million referendum for park improvements approved by voters last year.

By village board action, all Town Center property, including the six acres the park district recently purchased from the village, will be rezoned from a general retail district to an one-family residence district. The change is consistent with the village's future land use plan, according to officials.

The park district's plans include alternate design and material options for some building exteriors because of the uncertainty of material costs and the need to keep the project within budget, officials said.

The village plan commission typically reviews plans without alternatives because private property owners often know the cost of project work beforehand, Village Manager Joe Breinig said.

In this case, the park district was looking for flexibility to hold the line on its budget, Breinig said.

"The park district was trying to get an idea of what will be acceptable from a zoning perspective before they go out to bid, so what they bid will receive permit approval," he said.

The project is estimated to cost $18 million, though some have put that number closer to $20 million when contingencies, contractor fees, furniture and equipment are included.

Two alternatives that could save the district money are using a flat roof on the gymnasium portion of building, instead of a standing metal seam "barrel" roof, and using stained pre-cast concrete panels on exterior gym walls, instead of a thin brick veneer.

The change in roof type alone could save $500,000, Breinig said.

The facility will feature an eight-lane swimming pool, three basketball courts, a walking/running track and fitness and aerobics area.

The project is expected to go to bid this summer and construction will begin by September. Completion is expected in March 2013.