DuPage forest preserve expected to hire architect for clubhouse

  • Now that upgrades to The Preserve at Oak Meadows have been completed, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is considering whether to build a clubhouse on the property in Addison.

    Now that upgrades to The Preserve at Oak Meadows have been completed, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is considering whether to build a clubhouse on the property in Addison. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/16/2017 5:52 PM

DuPage forest preserve commissioners are a step closer to deciding whether to rebuild a clubhouse at a district-owned golf course in Addison.

The board on Tuesday is expected to hire Daniel Wohlfeil Design Ltd. to create a final design for the proposed clubhouse for The Preserve at Oak Meadows -- formerly Oak Meadows Golf Course.

 

If the contract is approved, the Elmhurst-based company will be paid $235,500 to do the work over the next six months.

Ed Stevenson, the district's executive director, said the detailed design -- expected to be completed by April -- will help the board decide whether to move ahead with construction.

"Once we get through this phase, we'll have really good cost estimates," Stevenson said. "We'll be able to come to the board with a proposal for funding. "

The Preserve at Oak Meadows had a clubhouse for decades until the structure was destroyed during a 2009 fire. Talk of building a new clubhouse is happening now because roughly $16.8 million in upgrades have been made to the 288-acre property.

Stevenson said a clubhouse is one of the amenities that's missing from the site.

"It gives us an opportunity to not only host golf outings but also take on some of the programming we want to do as a forest preserve district, which includes educational programs."

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Earlier this year, forest preserve commissioners reviewed a concept for the prairie-style building that called for it to have one floor and a basement.

The structure would total roughly 17,000 square feet and have a pro shop, a restaurant and bar, and a patio area, according to the conceptual plan. A "multifunction space" would be used for golf outings, educational programs and other events.

According to a preliminary estimate, the district would need to raise at least $7.5 million to build the facility.

But Stevenson said the final design will provide a far more accurate number.

"It lets us put details in the building that would give it life and potentially reduce or increase those costs," he said. "We'll be able to make a better decision."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

If commissioners agree to pursue the project, the district will have to figure out how it's going to pay for the building.

One possible way is using accumulated interest earnings. It also could use money it borrowed to pay for land acquisition and site improvements.

Stevenson said the district received a roughly $7 million insurance settlement after the original clubhouse burned down. Some of the money has since been used to help pay the golf course's operating expenses. It's estimated that there's roughly $3 million remaining.

The project to improve The Preserve at Oak Meadows 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.

The course reopened for a preview golf season in August.

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