When it opened 41 years ago, the Aldrin Community Center was one small building in Carol Stream's Armstrong Park, but represented one giant leap for area park district recreation centers.
Over the years, though, officials said the aging facility became too expensive to maintain and the indoor Collins Pool was shuttered in 2006.
Now, the building named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin is coming down, making way for a $5 million county stormwater management project aimed at providing flood relief for the nearby neighborhood.
Demolitions crews have been on site since last week tearing apart the structure, which follows an official "brick breaking" ceremony last month with county, park district and village officials.
After demolition is complete and the underground pool is removed, work will begin on installing a pumping station with two reservoirs and a 60-inch-diameter siphon that will release stormwater from the reservoirs to a downstream point in Klein Creek.
The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2013.
The park district also is planning upgrades at Armstrong Park, including raised ball fields with new lights, a snack bar, rebuilt parking lot and resurfaced trails.
Park district administrative offices formerly housed at Aldrin have been moved to the Historic Farmhouse at 301 W. Lies Road, and monthly park district board meetings are being held at the College of DuPage's satellite campus at 500 N. Kuhn Road.
Meanwhile, the park district's new $18 million, 90,846-square-foot rec center at the Town Center at Lies Road and Gary Avenue is slated to open in fall 2013.