Naperville Park District commissioners are poised to take the first step toward building an indoor activity center when they vote Thursday night on plans to buy a site for the proposed facility.
The park board is expected to approve the $2 million purchase of a 5.2-acre vacant property at 1760 Quincy Ave. during its meeting at 7 p.m. in the municipal center at 400 S. Eagle St.
Park district officials said the site was chosen for its central location, its proximity to other athletic uses such as Players Indoor Sports, Naperville Gymnastics Club and Bollywood Rhythms dance studio and the potential to share parking with its neighbor, the city of Naperville's public works service center.
Park board President Rich Janor said the land purchase expected to be finalized Thursday will allow the district to design an activity center to meet needs for more indoor recreation, fitness and gathering space.
"The land purchase is an important step here, an important milestone," Janor said. "We definitely did our due diligence as far as comparable properties in the area. We think it's a fair price for the taxpayers."
The activity center is budgeted to cost a total of $20 million, which includes the $2 million price of the vacant site on which to build it, park district Executive Director Ray McGury said. A private owner, K & S Carter Enterprises, LLC, is selling the property at the southeast corner of Quincy Avenue and Fort Hill Drive.
McGury said the activity center will have a walking track; athletic courts that can be used for basketball, volleyball, badminton and dances; and a basic fitness center. Past that, the district is open to suggestions and will be gathering input from the public at two or three meetings to be scheduled early next year.
Whatever is included in the activity center, officials say it will aim to provide more recreation and socialization for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Seniors could use the walking track instead of doing laps around Fox Valley shopping center in Aurora; and organizations that serve people with disabilities, such as the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association, could use new spaces for wheelchair basketball, dances, social clubs and music lessons.
So far, officials have heard from a few people opposed to the purchase of land and the activity center project, but McGury and Janor said most have been supportive.
"Overall the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive," Janor said, "especially among the special recreation, special needs community."