Naperville indoor activity center gets name, parking plan

Updated 9/26/2014 5:07 PM

Naperville Park District officials have come up with a name for the activity center they're building and a plan to ensure it has enough parking.

The facility now is being called the Fort Hill Activity Center, and 112 of its parking spaces will come from a lease of spots available at the city's public works headquarters.


Park board commissioners finalized the 20-year, $200 lease Thursday night. Park board President Mike Reilly said the agreement allows the park district to take advantage of the fact the activity center, at Fort Hill Drive and Quincy Avenue, will be immediately north of the city's public works building and future environmental collection center.

"It allows us to provide the necessary parking without having to try to buy some additional land," Reilly said about the lease.

The park district is required to provide 316 parking spots based on a formula that accounts for the facility's planned 79,000-square-foot size, said Eric Shutes, director of planning. About one-third of those spaces will be in the area leased from the city.

"We can use it for parking at times when the city doesn't need it," Reilly said. "It's really a common-sense solution."

The parking area, now being used as part of the city's impound lot, will be re-striped with new lines and a fence will be moved before activity center construction is expected to be complete in 2016, Shutes said. The lease will begin in 2015 and run until 2035 with an option to be renewed.

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The parking agreement is the latest step in development of the activity center, which park district officials say will help meet a need for indoor recreation space that residents have been mentioning in surveys for the past decade. The center is being designed to include a walking track, two basketball courts, a fitness center, a cafe, an indoor playground, a gymnastics room and several multipurpose rooms spread over two floors.

The budget for the center is now at roughly $24 million after $650,000 was added last month to enlarge the indoor playground, cafe and one of the multipurpose rooms.

While officials have begun calling it the Fort Hill Activity Center, that name won't be final until December. Until then, Shutes said the public can comment on the name or suggest other ones.

Reilly said the name alludes to a change in the center's address, which will allow it to have Pace bus service. A route that travels on Fort Hill Drive will stop at the activity center at 20 Fort Hill Drive, allowing people with disabilities a way to get there, Reilly said.

When the address originally was on Quincy Avenue, that bus service wouldn't have been possible, he said.

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