218 Madison Facility Renovation
The Park District of Oak Park’s 218 Madison facility re-opened on April 13, 2015 after a 6-month renovation project. The space vacated by the gymnastics center, which moved to the new Gymnastics and Recreation Center at 21 Lake Street, was converted to additional space for the buildings and grounds department. The Park District administrative offices were also renovated as part of this project. Customer service operations have permanently moved to the Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex at 415 Lake Street.
The Park District of Oak Park began planning in 2006 to relieve overcrowding at the District’s 218 Madison facility. At that time 218 Madison housed the District’s gymnastics center, buildings and grounds operations and the Hedges Administrative Center. The 2006 space study concluded the gymnastics center and the buildings and grounds operations needed space twice the size they currently occupied to meet their needs.
For several years the Park District looked at a variety of options and locations for the gymnastics program and for buildings & grounds including a number of options in partnership with the Village of Oak Park and School District 97. The Park District is committed to getting the most for taxpayers’ dollars while staying within the constraints of the capital budget.
In October 2011 the District purchased the former Aldi grocery store on Lake Street. The facility was raised to make way for the new Gymnastics and Recreation Center (GRC) which opened in October 2013. Over 50% more gymnastics classes are now being offered meeting the needs of over 1,000 gymnasts. This facility also offers Preschool Playtime and Open Gym and features multi-purpose rooms for recreation programs, birthday parties, meetings and rentals.
The former gymnastics center, located at 218 Madison, was converted into additional work space and storage for buildings and grounds operations. Supplies and equipment that were stored in various locations throughout the Park District can now be stored under one roof at this facility. Vehicles parked at 260 Madison (the old Volvo dealer) have been relocated to the expanded facility. Bulk purchase of materials is now possible due to the expanded storage available in the buildings & grounds area providing a significant cost savings to the Park District.
Improvements to the administrative offices include expansion of the Board Room for additional seating. The registration area, which was relocated to the Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex in June 2014, was converted to accommodate the business operations department. All recreation staff were relocated from various facilities throughout the Park District to the second floor of the administrative center. The administrative offices also house the office of the executive director as well as the human resources and communications & marketing departments.