Wheeling Park District to propose $16.9 million expansion at recreation center

  • Wheeling Park District Executive Director Jan Buchs

    Wheeling Park District Executive Director Jan Buchs

Updated 9/12/2017 10:33 AM

The Wheeling Park District has plans to build an estimated $16.9 million expansion onto its recreational center, including a new gymnasium and more space for fitness programs.

The proposed project would add about 42,000 square feet of space to the recreation center located off Community Boulevard, south of Dundee Road. The building is currently about 77,000 square feet.


"There's just more demand for fitness and an expansion of some of the group exercise programs we have," Executive Director Jan Buchs said.

In addition to building a second gymnasium and expanded fitness center, the park district wants to renovate the existing building. Under the plans, the preschool and outdoor playground would be relocated. Additionally, there would be remodeled program spaces and new accommodations for senior programs.

Starting in 2018, the recreational center will host a majority of senior programs, though the village's human services department will continue to manage programming and special services.

Based on community surveys and upward population trends, the park district determined the recreational center needs more space, especially for group-exercise programs, Buchs said.

The village board still needs to approve the proposal, and the plan commission will consider the project at a meeting Thursday.

The park district is asking the village to allow a zoning change to build taller than the maximum allowed height of 30 feet. A remodeled entry space would be about 39 feet, and the gym would be 36 feet.

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The village board would also need to approve the overall appearance.

Though the price tag has not been finalized, the park district intends to pay for most of the project with capital project reserve funds, and issue some debt, Buchs said.

The project is expected to be completed in 18 months. A start date has not been determined.

The park district will release renderings of the proposal at the plan commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at 2 Community Blvd.

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