CRC Renovation and Expansion Project

Community Recreation Center expansion to address growing community needs

According to community-wide surveys conducted over an extended period of time, the Wheeling community views the Wheeling Park District as a positive asset and a good value. Recreation, fitness, programming, and athletics play a significant role in the quality of life in Wheeling.

While the Community Recreation Center (CRC) has served the community well, the needs of the community are changing. With the construction of Town Center, Northgate Crossing and other new developments, and the relocation of Village of Wheeling senior services full-time to the CRC beginning January 2018, the Park District is experiencing a growing demand for fitness and programming space at the CRC.
 
As the number-one provider of recreational programming and services, the Park District has a responsibility to meet the needs of the community. Long-term study and financial planning have prepared the Park District to take on this project, but more steps need to be completed before final approval to move forward is given by the Park District Board of Commissioners.While the Park District Board of Commissioners has given the authorization to pursue the project, the Board will not give final approval until all bids have been reviewed.

The majority of the funding will come from the Park District Capital Project Fund. The Park District will not issue a referendum seeking additional financial support from the community, nor will the District seek a higher tax increase. Should the overall CRC project budget be approved by the Park District Board of Commissioners, the project plan will move forward immediately. It is expected to take 18 months to complete the entire project. This will be a phased project allowing programming and services to continue throughout the duration of construction.

 

EXPANSION/RENOVATION PROJECT DESCRIPTION
 
By analyzing how the Community Recreation Center is currently used and studying growth patterns and trends, the Park District identified the following areas of improvement that would most benefit guests.

 

New Enlarged Fitness Center
  • Improved atmosphere through greater visibility and openness
  • Additional fitness machines with more comfortable spacing
  • Adequate area for stretching, personal training, and assessment
  • Space for group exercise classes within the Fitness area
  • New fitness area locker rooms
Preschool Relocation and Renovation
  • Improved drop-off location and traffic flow
  • Dedicated and restricted entrance for preschool participants only
  • Transition space outside for classrooms
  • Modernized classroom features keeping pace with current educational trends
Second Gymnasium
  • Increased community open gym time
  • Additional league and tournament space
  • Large-group programming space
General Renovations
  • Redesign of entryway for improved visibility of the Guest Service area
  • Separate entrance into Fitness area to potentially increase hours of operation
  • Additional dedicated programming space on the first level of the CRC
Along with the expansion/renovation, deferred maintenance projects and a general refresh of the entire building are included in the scope of the project budget.

 

View Renderings

Timeline

Now that the steel has arrived, some dramatic changes will be visible. Installation of the massive girders and beams began September 28, and will continue throughout the month of October. These will provide the skeleton for the structure that will add 42,000 square feet of space to the building and create a large curved wall of windows in the expanded Fitness Center as well as new entryways.

As part of the renovation project, the indoor pool will close for a complete refresh during the month of October. In addition to brightening up the space with fresh paint, a new deck surface and Dectron air-handling unit, to control and improve air quality, will be installed. Wheeling Park District indoor pool and fitness members are able to swim at the Westin Hotel in Wheeling at designated hours during the closure. The indoor pool is expected to reopen on Monday, November 5.

A section of the CRC main parking area was closed for a few weeks to allow for more of the underground work to be completed. This affects a limited number of parking spaces with no significant impact on facility operations.

Once the massive walls for the second gymnasium arrived by truck on July 28, and were set in place, there was not much to see “above ground” at the CRC construction site. Much of what took place involved earthwork to prepare the foundation for the extensive addition. A strong support network of trenches and footings below ground was installed.

A great deal of demolition work took place during the month of July to prepare for the build-out of the CRC. This included taking down walls in the fitness center and windows and beams from the front of the structure. In addition, the ground from the CRC parking lot to Community Boulevard was regraded.

June 5, 2018

 

WHEELING PARK DISTRICT
Wheeling Park District Renovations to Proceed with Village TIF Assistance

The Village of Wheeling Board of Trustees and the Wheeling Park District Board of Commissioners reached an agreement to apply $1.8 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds toward the renovation and expansion of the Community Recreation Center (CRC) at Heritage Park.

This contribution to the $18.8 million project reflects the value of the CRC as a resource for the community as a whole, and also serves to secure a permanent state-of-the-art facility for seniorrecreation services in Wheeling.

Under the agreement, the Park District will provide a permanent home for Senior Recreation Programming and for the Village’s popular congregate dining program upon the completion of the renovation project.

“This Intergovernmental Agreement is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when we work together for the betterment of our constituencies,” said Sue Stein, President of the Wheeling Park District Board of Commissioners. “The support from the Village of Wheeling will go a long way toward helping us offer our residents the services they need and desire.”

The CRC is located in the Town Center-II Tax Increment Financing District, established by the Village in 2014 to spur growth along the Dundee Road corridor in keeping with its Comprehensive Plan.

“For many years, the Village has encouraged transit-oriented mixed-use development in our town center, and those efforts have proven very successful,” Village President Pat Horcher said. “In anticipation of the arrival of many new Wheeling residents only steps away from Heritage Park, the Park District has undertaken this critical renovation project in order to stay ahead of the community’s needs, and the Village is honored to contribute to these efforts.”

In a separate agreement, to be completed later this month, the Village will lease the playground in the Avalon Sienna subdivision to the Park District beginning in May of 2021.

“I am very pleased that we were able to work with the Village of Wheeling to meet the goals of both of our agencies while providing benefits back to residents,” said Jan Buchs, Executive Director of the Wheeling Park District. “This agreement will assist the Wheeling Park District in fulfilling our mission of providing memorable experiences in parks and recreation that enrich our communities.”

Apart from the congregate dining program, all of the Village’s senior programming has been hosted at the CRC since the start of 2018, when the Village closed the Wheeling Pavilion Senior Center, which had become inadequate to serve the needs of its members.

“Both the Village and the Park District remain strongly committed to providing great social and recreational programming for Wheeling’s seniors, and we’re confident that the Community Recreation Center is the best possible location for it,” Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said. “While this arrangement has been the product of very rewarding behind-the-scenes cooperation, we expect the results to be transparent to our residents, who will only notice the seamless continuation of the services they rely on in a newly-renovated facility."

Contact: Village Manager Jon Sfondilis (847-499-9090) Park District Executive Director Jan Buchs (847-465-3333)

May 8, 2018

 

WHEELING PARK DISTRICT
Official Groundbreaking Ceremony

The official groundbreaking of the Community Recreation Center Renovation and Expansion Project took place on Monday, May 7.

At 6:00 pm, a large group of residents, current and former Park District Commissioners, and representatives from the Village of Wheeling, School District 21, Indian Trails Public Library and Camosy Construction gathered in front of the Community Recreation Center. Park Board President Sue Stein welcomed everyone to the event and introduced the Park Commissioners

"I appreciate all of you being here to witness this landmark event,” said Commissioner Stein. “As Park Commissioners, we volunteer our time and experience to help strengthen and further the Park District’s mission to provide memorable experiences in parks and recreation that enrich our communities. Working together as a Board, in cooperation with an equally dedicated staff and administration, over a number of years, allowed us to carefully research and plan for this moment. This large-scale project is a testament to what our agency can accomplish through careful preparation, hard work and the efficient use of tax dollars. In fact, I am proud to say, we are able to undertake this expansion and renovation without a referendum or a tax increase or any additional financial support from residents for this project. This is truly something for all of us to be proud of and we look forward to sharing many more memorable experiences with you now and in the future."

Executive Director Jan Buchs then spoke about the history of the CRC and the data driving the improvements along with the benefits and timeline.

"Due to the scope and impact of the project, one of our top priorities is to communicate continuously with our residents and guests,” said Executive Director Buchs. “We intend to provide regular updates and details about how scheduled work will affect activities and programs through our website. We appreciate your support and thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. We look forward to offering you a 21st century facility that will meet the present and future needs of our residents and guests. Staff has taken meticulous care of this well-used building but, after 24 years, it is beginning to show its age and signs of wear and tear. That, too, will be addressed. Deferred maintenance projects as well as a general refresh of the entire building are included in the project budget. Once the Board authorized construction, staff jumped right in and began planning for how to organize and move equipment, work stations and staff to allow the building to remain open and activities and programs to continue throughout construction.”

Executive Director Buchs joined the Commissioners in putting the first shovels in the ground in the area that will soon become the latest CRC building addition.

April 19, 2018

 

WHEELING PARK DISTRICT
COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTER RENOVATION AND EXPANSION GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR MAY 7

After years of planning, the Wheeling Park District is moving ahead with the construction phase of the Community Recreation Center (CRC) Renovation and Expansion project. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 100 Community Boulevard in Wheeling on Monday, May 7, at 6 pm.

The project will be carried out in two phases over a 16-month period. Phase I is the construction of a new gymnasium and fitness area; Phase II involves the renovation of existing CRC spaces. Camosy Construction, located in Zion, IL, is managing the construction and will begin work the week of April 30 with the installation of construction fencing and earthwork on the north-northeast exterior of the building. Soon after, interior work will start with a temporary facility entrance and Guest Service desk so that demolition can begin. The CRC will remain open throughout construction to allow programming and services to continue.

Part of the Heritage Park Campus, located off of Community Boulevard in Wheeling (between Wolf Road and Northgate Parkway), the CRC opened in 1994 and has undergone one addition of a fitness center and indoor pool in 2000. Over the last 24 years, the needs of the community have changed. New, large-scale developments and the Village of Wheeling senior services relocating to the CRC have added to the growing demand for gymnasium, fitness and programming space. Currently, the CRC is undersized for the number of guests who take part in programs or use the facility regularly.

“Our residents and guests have voiced a strong desire for more gymnasium space, an expanded fitness center, space to accommodate Village of Wheeling senior programs and additional larger program areas, “ said Jan Buchs, Executive Director, Wheeling Park District. “It is our responsibility to meet the needs of the community. From their input and feedback, we have developed a plan and are very excited to start construction.”

Long-term study and financial planning have prepared the Park District to take on this extensive project that will provide for the current and future needs of the residents and guests of the Wheeling community. The majority of funding will come from the Park District Capital Project Fund. The Park District will not issue a referendum seeking additional financial support from the community, nor will the District seek a higher tax increase.

CRC Expansion and Renovation Project Benefits

By analyzing how the CRC is currently used and studying growth patterns and trends, the Park District identified the following areas of improvement that would most benefit guests.

New Enlarged Fitness Center
• Improved atmosphere through greater visibility and openness
• Additional fitness machines with more comfortable spacing
• Adequate area for stretching, personal training, and assessment
• Space for group exercise classes within the Fitness area
• New fitness area locker rooms

Second Gymnasium
• Increased community open gym time
• Additional league and tournament space
• Large-group programming space

General Renovations
• Redesign of entryway for improved visibility of the Guest Service area
• Separate entrance into Fitness area to potentially increase hours of operation
• Additional dedicated programming space on the first level of the CRC

Along with the expansion/renovation, deferred maintenance projects and a general refresh of the entire building are included in the scope of the project.

March 16, 2018

 

WHEELING PARK DISTRICT
AWAITING BIDS FOR SOME COMPONENTS OF THE CRC RENOVATION AND EXPANSION

The Wheeling Park District is currently awaiting bids for some components of the Community Recreation Center (CRC) Renovation and Expansion Project. These bids are due by Thursday, March 29. Once the documents are received and reviewed and the Park District Board of Commissioners has an opportunity to evaluate the budget overview, more information will be available.

   

February 16, 2018

 

WHEELING PARK DISTRICT
CRC RENOVATION AND EXPANSION BIDS RECEIVED

The Wheeling Park District bid opening for the Community Recreation Center (CRC) Renovation and Expansion Project is Friday, February 16. The Board of Commissioners along with staff will review all documents and evaluate for budget considerations.

 

January 16, 2018

 

WHEELING PARK DISTRICT
CRC RENOVATION AND EXPANSION PROJECT OUT FOR BID

The Wheeling Park District is receiving bids for the Community Recreation Center (CRC) Renovation and Expansion Project. Bid documents are available beginning Tuesday, January 16. Bids must be submitted by Friday, February 16. Information regarding the bidding process is available at www.wheelingparkdistrict.com.

Long-term study and financial planning have prepared the Park District to take on this extensive project that will provide for the current and future needs of the residents and guests of the Wheeling community. While the Park District Board of Commissioners has given the authorization to pursue the project, the Board will not give final approval until the bids have been received and reviewed. The majority of funding will come from the Park District Capital Project Fund. The Park District will not issue a referendum seeking additional financial support from the community, nor will the District seek a higher tax increase. 

Should the overall CRC project budget be approved by the Park District Board of Commissioners, work is anticipated to begin in March. While it is expected to take 18 months to complete, this phased project allows for programming and services at the CRC to continue throughout the duration of construction.

Based on needs and future growth, trends and participant feedback, the four major areas of expansion and renovation include an enlarged modern fitness center and group exercise space, relocation of the preschool and additional 21st-century educational tools, a second gymnasium, and programming space on the first level. This project will also address deferred maintenance items to existing systems. The current facility, which is part of the Heritage Park Campus, is 25 years old and has undergone one addition of the fitness center and indoor pool in 2000.

The Park District’s Comprehensive Plan indicates the need for over 15,000 square feet of additional space just to meet the 2017 population requirements. The CRC is currently used by 56% of all residents or a total of 23,968 of Wheeling Park District residents. With construction of several new area developments and the relocation of Village of Wheeling senior services full-time to the CRC, the Park District is experiencing a growing demand for fitness and programming space at the CRC.