Glen Ellyn's Village Links could get indoor upgrades
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A village-owned golf course in Glen Ellyn could be in line to get some major upgrades if concept improvement plans move ahead.
The 27-hole Village Links of Glen Ellyn, at 485 Winchell Way on the village's southern end, last underwent renovations to its course in 2003. Now officials are focusing on making improvements to indoor facilities.
A master plan developed by two village committees recommends additions and remodeling of the facility's existing clubhouse, which has become outdated and expensive to operate, officials say.
Proposed improvements for phase one of the project include addition of a bar, new dining rooms, a dining patio and restrooms. That would increase capacity for the facility's restaurant and make it available for use by groups that could rent it for golf outings.
As a result, Village Links profits could be bolstered at a time when the golf industry is in duress, said Village Recreation Director Matt Pekarek
"We've been trying to come up with some way to afford improvements that work," Pekarek told village trustees at a meeting Monday. "We're patronized by loyal customers. We need to do some things to reward them with their patronage to give them some better facilities."
Phase one improvements are estimated to cost $3,784,000. Officials have proposed funding the project through the sale of general obligation bonds that would be repaid by Village Links profits — though that still wouldn't be enough to fund the improvements.
The project cost will likely be lowered by $800,000 by doing some work in house and doing "value engineering," Pekarek said.
The golf facility currently has $2 million in cash reserves, of which half is available for facility improvements. The other half would serve as an interim cash flow and as a buffer if profits don't immediately cover the debt, Pekarek said.
He maintained that no tax dollars would be used for the project.
Also proposed under phase one are improvements to the driving range by adding covered and heated tee stations, lights for use at night, and better fairway targets. Plans also call for the range to be lengthened.
Phase two calls for demolition of what was the original clubhouse, which includes three locker rooms and a pro shop. A new pro shop would be constructed and a driving range tee would be installed nearby. Those improvements are expected to cost $2.9 million, but would only be completed if funds become available.
Work on phase one could begin in mid-2012 with opening planned for spring 2013. But the village board has to grant final approval, and trustees are expected to provide input on the plans during an Aug. 8 meeting.
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