The Community Recreation Center (CRC)
A Vision for Equity and Inclusion
Oak Park is a place for all to feel welcome: to be safe, to be healthy, and to feel a sense of belonging. Many decades ago, the Village took action to embrace equity for all and establish our community values of strength in diversity. Ever since then, Oak Park has been committed to its inclusive mission.
Today, the challenge of achieving inclusivity and equity continues. Our diverse collection of families presents different recreation and fitness needs, and although Oak Park enjoys many park district services and amenities—including two outdoor pools, parks, an ice rink, a gymnastic center, tennis courts and nearly 3,000 programs—local residents lack access to a gymnasium, fitness facility, an indoor walking track, or a multi-generational community center that serves families and individuals including our growing senior population.
Based on public engagement through community surveys and the 2016 feasibility study, we believe the construction of a Community Recreation Center will meet the diverse needs of residents of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and economic status. As its currently envisioned, the Community Recreation Center will offer our community:
- A safe place for youth of all ages to go immediately after school
- A year-round, indoor walking track that Oak Park residents of all ages can access at no cost
- A place for Oak Park youth to access mental health services and creative social-emotional programming
- Affordable group classes and fitness opportunities for individuals and families
- A place for teen programming on weekends and evenings
- A place to bring our community together and make connections to build and strengthen community bond
Many Oak Park residents are feeling financial pressure from increasing property taxes. The Parks Foundation of Oak Park and the Park District are listening to these community concerns and are committed to using existing resources in conjunction with a Capital Campaign to build a much-needed Community Recreation Center without increasing taxes.
The Parks Foundation of Oak Park is committed to primarily funding this project with grants and charitable donations. In addition, the operating costs of the facility will be funded by user fees. The Capital Campaign is spearheaded by a group of local residents, donors and volunteers committed to the achievement of this bold, transformative project.
The Community Recreation Center will be located on Madison Avenue east of Ridgeland Avenue. The one-acre property site, which was donated to the Parks Foundation, will serve as an anchor to an area of Oak Park that can benefit from revitalization.
The full vision of the project will be split into two phases. The design and capital campaign is currently focused on Phase One.
Phase One will consist of:
- Gender-inclusive restroom
- Community Rooms
- Multipurpose Room
- E-Sports Room
- Mental Health Consultation Suite
- Fitness Center
- Group Exercise
- Locker Rooms
- Child Watch / Play Area
Phase Two will provide an indoor aquatic center with:
- Lap Pool
- Activity Pool
- Therapy Pool
Through thoughtful planning and design, the Community Recreation Center will expand the Park District’s multi-generational audience of users and make a meaningful difference in their lives.
The Parks Foundation of Oak Park is funding the design and construction of the project.
The Parks Foundation of Oak Park is an organization chartered with the State of Illinois as a 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in December of 2012. While a separate and independent entity, the Foundation coordinates closely with the Park District of Oak Park to address community needs.
The Park District of Oak Park will own and operate the facility upon the completion of construction.
Since 1912, the Park District of Oak Park has provided park and recreation experiences to the citizens of Oak Park and in doing so, has made and continues to make a positive impact on our community.
Perkins and Will is the architect and leads a team of expert engineering consultants hired for the project.
Perkins and Will is a global design firm founded in Chicago in 1935. Our goal is to design places that make a positive difference in the world. That’s why people are at the heart of everything we do.
Bulley & Andrews is the Construction Manager hired for the project.
Built over generations, by generations, Bulley & Andrews is committed to bringing together talented people who have a passion for building. We are dedicated to improving lives and communities with the projects we complete. At B&A, building matters most when we build together.
The architect, their sub-consultants, and the construction manager are working to complete the design process for Phase One. The architect will progress from early concept design through full design documentation which will then be bid out to contractors and permitted by the Village of Oak Park. The construction manager is assisting to head off any issues that would result in construction or budget problems prior to issuing the drawings for bid. Completion of the design process is anticipated by the end of 2020.
Throughout the year, there will be a couple of moments when the team will reach out to the public for input. These will be public meetings posted here on this website.
Fundraising for the project is happening concurrently with the design process. You can donate here to support the Parks Foundation’s campaign for the Community Recreation Center.
Upon reaching the project’s goal and completing the design process, the project will be bid out and constructed.
How you can be involved
Throughout the design process, there will be a couple of public meetings that we will be presenting progress on the project and asking for your input. Check out the Public Meetings page for more information.
Don’t have time to attend a public meeting or have a question you’d rather ask via email? Please use the form on the Contact Us page to ask questions and/or contribute any ideas or suggestions.