Gym, track, warm water pool proposed at Arlington Heights' Olympic Park
The Arlington Heights Park District is proposing a $15 million expansion of its Olympic Park facility, featuring a high school-sized gymnasium, indoor walking track, warm water therapy pool, fitness and multipurpose spaces, and renovations to the current building.
"By putting these additions in, it will offer a lot of new programs that promote a healthy lifestyle in Arlington Heights," said park board President Maryfran Leno. "There will be things for every single age. And it would be in the middle of town -- able to serve both north and south."
The park board this week authorized the park district staff to negotiate contracts with Corporate Construction Services to serve as construction manager and FGM Architects to design the project. Those agreements would be formally voted on in October.
The estimated $15 million in construction costs would be funded with up to $4 million from reserves and through a bond issuance of no more than $12 million, officials said.
Leno said that wouldn't mean a tax increase for residents, since the plan would be to issue new debt as old debt is paid off from completed capital projects.
While only basic conceptual drawings were done some five years ago, Leno said the estimated 32,000-square-foot building addition would not affect the two irrigated soccer fields to the west of the existing building. It could affect older tennis courts to the north.
Leno said the building plans and proposed amenities reflect resident surveys. They have included requests for more gymnasium space, especially since park district agreements with school districts don't allow use of school gyms in some cases until after 6 p.m.
"Indoor volleyball has exploded, but we don't have the gym space to keep up with the demand," she said.
The top item on surveys is the desire for more walking space -- and that's why the indoor track is part of the plans, Leno said.
Olympic, which houses the district's only indoor pool, last underwent a major renovation in 2004 with a $5 million expansion and upgrades that included an activity pool, expanded locker rooms, family changing rooms, upgraded building systems and an elevator.
Leno said there were funds to do only one pool at that time. Since then, seniors in particular have asked for a pool with warmer water for exercises and therapeutic activities.
The indoor pool opened in 1970, after the park district acquired a 1-acre parcel from Northwest Suburban High School District 214. The park district obtained the remaining 9 acres in 1986 and added soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, and a skate park over the years.
The district aims to put the project out to bid in March or April and hopes to begin construction that spring. The timeline calls for construction to be complete by the fall of 2019 or early 2020.