Algonquin looking at building new community center

  • Steam rises from the Fox River in Algonquin's Buffalo Park in an updated file photo.

    Steam rises from the Fox River in Algonquin's Buffalo Park in an updated file photo. H. Rick Bamman/Shaw Media

Updated 2/16/2021 12:01 PM

A new community center being discussed by the Algonquin Village Board potentially could contain a fitness center, indoor walking track, gymnasium, community rooms and rental spaces.

The proposal is one of a slew of projects outlined in a 10-year master parks and recreation plan considered by the board this week.


The planned community center would be part of a collaboration with the Algonquin Public Library in an effort to advance the village's parks and recreation department, said Bridget Deatrick, an associate with Hitchcock Design Group, the firm the village hired to assist in the development of the master plan.

The plan is preliminary and has no timeline, Village Manager Tim Schlonger said.

The board likely would vote on whether to adopt the master plan in April, but that doesn't commit the village to the projects outlined.

"Right now, the plan for a possible community center is preliminary, only a high-level theoretical discussion," Schlonger said.

The priority of the new community center would be more public indoor space for residents to use, according to the plan. Ideas, such as three season rooms and rental spaces also were laid out in the plan.

Additionally, the possibility of a teen center and program offerings within the center are on the table.

To determine what would be included, the plan proposes completing an indoor needs assessment, which would identify how much space the village needs for public programming and use, as well as how much growth it expects to see in the area.

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The next step would be to use that evaluation to determine what services and features a community center should have, such as a designated fitness center, indoor walking track, gym space, studio and group exercise rooms and a pool, the plan shows.

The village then could have designs and engineering plans drawn up.

The master plan discussed Tuesday also included new ideas for better use of the Lions Armstrong Memorial Pool. The plan proposed hosting movie and music nights at the pool, as well as offering all-age swim lessons to residents.

Trustees previously have voiced the need for a walking path and updated ball fields and tennis courts at Lions Armstrong Memorial, as well updating the many parks Algonquin has to offer, according to the plan.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the park and recreational equipment were used more than usual in the past year, so the parks require more upgrades, Algonquin Village President Debby Sosine said.


"It will take time and effort to figure out this plan fully, but I do not want it to just sit in the shelf," she said.

The proposed 10-year plan also suggests completing improvements at Towne and Stoneybrook parks.

Possible improvements to Towne Park could include ball fields, updated walking paths and picnic shelters, as well as a new amphitheater, according to the draft. Updated playground equipment is needed at Hill Climb, Towne and Presidential parks, while updated tennis courts are needed at Gaslight Park.

The master plan also holds ideas for the many natural areas in Algonquin, including upgrades to the Fox River Corridor plan that would better connect residents to the river.

Ways to better engage would-be volunteers also were included in the master plan, such as establishing a Friends of Algonquin organization that would create an opportunity to coordinate more community involvement and volunteer opportunities within the village.

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