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Article updated: 2/12/2013 12:26 AM

No big delay expected in Glen Ellyn course renovations

By Christopher Placek

A $6.3 million renovation project at a village-owned golf course in Glen Ellyn could take a little longer to complete than expected, but not by much, officials said Monday.

Work crews began making upgrades in September to the Village Links of Glen Ellyn, at 485 Winchell Way, following village board approval of the project. The targeted completion date remains May 31, but right now that date is "tenuous," said Matt Pekarek, the village's recreation director.

Pekarek told the village board Monday it's possible all the work could be finished one or two weeks later, but that ongoing construction wouldn't impede golfers from hitting the links. On-site signage will direct patrons to the proper areas, he said.

Improvements include a clubhouse addition with a new bar, dining room, 150-seat banquet room, restrooms, patio, and upgrades to the existing kitchen. On the course, the driving range tee is being expanded, two new practice putting greens will be installed, and the first tee of the 9-hole course will be moved to the east. More parking and new streetlights will also be added.

Pekarek said the major delay in the project has been delivery of roof trusses for the clubhouse expansion. Some 175 pages of shop drawings have been exchanged multiple times among the fabricator, architect and structural engineer, with slight adjustments being made. So far, structural steel has been erected and exterior walls installed. But the roof can't be put on top until five or six semitruck loads of pre-manufactured trusses arrive.

"It's frustrating to have something take three months from the point the job is assigned to the fabricator and it take that long until fabrication begins," Pekarek said. "But it's quite complicated."

Pekarek said fabrication could begin next week, and after that, it would take about two weeks to install the roof.

Also Monday, the village board voted 4-2 to approve the $195,570 purchase of 87 Yamaha gasoline golf carts, and trade-in of 87 existing carts, from Harris Golf Cars of Sugar Grove.

Pekarek said the current carts are mechanically sound, but aesthetically worn, including scrapes, cracks and torn seats.

The carts were previously replaced every eight years, but golf course officials have been trying to maintain a four-year replacement schedule to get a better trade-in value, Pekarek said.

The carts were last replaced in 2008, and officials would have recommended replacement last year were it not for the uncertainty over getting gas or electric carts during construction project planning.

The village can't afford electric carts now, Pekarek said, but may pursue the idea in the next several years.

The trade-in value of a cart after four years is between $25,000 and $30,000, he said, and it decreases each year a golf course holds onto the vehicle.

But Trustee Pete Ladesic, who along with Trustee Robert Friedberg voted against the new carts, recommended delaying the purchase.

"This seems like a significant expense to spend on a full fleet replacement when maybe we should look at holding onto them for another year," Ladesic said.

Purchase of the new carts will be funded through the Village Links cash reserves and are expected to be delivered by May 1.

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