The Sport Center of the Schaumburg Park District has been a popular bastion of winter recreation since it opened in 2003, but its parking capacity hasn't kept up with demand.
Additional parking for big tournaments has been found at various off-site locations over the years, but the park district is aiming for greater convenience in the future. The district wants to lease 1.5 acres from the Schaumburg Regional Airport next door to add 126 more parking spaces to the approximately 250 it has already.
"The Sport Center is pretty much a big success," park district Deputy Director Dan Otto said.
The new parking area is proposed to wrap around the southeast corner of the 110,000-square-foot Sport Center at 1141 W. Irving Park Road and provide spillover parking that would also benefit the airport for special events.
The additional land is coming from the same source as that for The Sport Center itself -- a cost-free intergovernmental agreement with the village of Schaumburg, which owns Schaumburg Regional Airport.
The park board plans to approve the agreement tonight and the village's transportation committee has recommended village board approval next Tuesday.
What's taken about two years to get to this point is the much longer process of getting Federal Aviation Administration approval, as the land comes from airport property. Getting approval from a federal agency naturally takes longer than working out an agreement with a neighboring taxing body, and the park district knew that going in, Otto said.
Even after the park district and village sign off on the agreement, however, approval of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District remains. Every part of the process has to happen in exactly this order, Otto said.
The park district is hoping to secure MWRD approval in time to start construction in midsummer. The target completion date of Nov. 1 would be well in time to accommodate next winter's return of indoor sports.
The park district is budgeting $425,000 for the work, which is not expected to affect existing parking, Otto said.