The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County would need to raise at least $7.5 million to construct a clubhouse at a district-owned golf course in Addison, according to a preliminary estimate.
The Preserve at Oak Meadows -- formerly Oak Meadows Golf Course -- had a clubhouse for decades until the structure was destroyed during a 2009 fire. Now that roughly $16.8 million in upgrades have been made to the 288-acre property, forest preserve commissioners are considering the possibility of building a new clubhouse.
"The world-class golf course that we now have needs a nice building to support the golfers and to make it a destination place in the area," forest preserve Commissioner Marsha Murphy said.
Over the past few months, officials sought feedback from residents to refine a design for the proposed structure and forest preserve commissioners this week reviewed the final concept.
The plan calls for the prairie-style building to have one floor and a basement. It would total roughly 17,000 square feet and have a pro shop, a restaurant and bar, and a patio area. A "multifunction space" would be used for golf outings, educational programs and other events.
"We look at this (Oak Meadows) as more of a golf preserve," said Ed Stevenson, the district's executive director. "We want to take educational components that we might typically do at a Kline Creek Farm and create the same opportunity at the Addison location."
Overall, the proposed clubhouse "fits what a forest preserve should be doing at a golf property in the decades ahead," Stevenson said.
"This is not a monument," he said. "It's to complement the property."
The estimated $7.5 million price tag for the clubhouse doesn't include other anticipated expenses, including the cost of permitting, parking lot improvements and landscaping.
"One of the deliverables on the next phase of work would be an extremely detailed cost estimate," Stevenson said.
If commissioners decide to pursue the project, the district will have to figure out how it's going to pay for the building.
One possible way is by using accumulated interest earnings. It also could use money it borrowed to pay for land acquisition and site improvements.
As for the property itself, the Preserve at Oak Meadows is slated to reopen for a "preview" golf season on Aug. 7.
The project to improve the site included restoring the portion of Salt Creek that runs through the preserve and consolidating two golf courses into a single 18-hole facility with greater flood resistance and more stormwater storage capacity.