Park Board discusses proposed 2021 Capital Projects, including demolition of 135 Palmer Drive building

Improvements at the newest District park and expansion of green space are just some of the proposed capital projects District staff is planning for in 2021.

Details about potential capital projects were presented at the January 25 Park Board meeting as part of an overview of the 2021 proposed budget.

Many of the projects are guided by the District’s Vision 2020 plan, with the goal of advancing the District mission and vision. Financial constraints also are crucial to choosing projects and, in light of the pandemic, staff proposed funding only essential projects in 2021 due to the continued unknown longer term impacts of the pandemic.

Adult Center Redevelopment

Planned capital projects include redevelopment work at Centennial Park, the District’s newest park. Dedicated last summer, the park is located at 155 E. St Charles Road. The District also plans to redevelop the building on the site into an Adult Center, which the Vision 2020 process found to be a key need in the community. Those plans included both acquiring the 155 E. St. Charles Road facility and selling The Abbey to Elmhurst School District #205.

At 12,800 square feet, the building is roughly double the size of The Abbey, allowing for an expansion of adult programming, senior programming and offerings from community partners, such as the College of DuPage.

Potential upgrades to the building include remodeling the restrooms for ADA compliance, improving signage, interior painting, completing exterior improvements to the roof and improving the site’s pavement and sidewalks. Construction would begin this year and wrap-up in 2022.

Centennial Park Development

Development of Centennial Park is also included in the District’s proposed budget. Developing the site would expand park offerings and the level of services provided to the neighborhood, improving equity across the community regarding access to park amenities. Development work would include hiring Upland Design to create a park master plan based on public feedback, along with the engineering, design and construction of site amenities. Amenities could include a playground but would be based off of feedback from the community.

135 Palmer Drive

Another park likely to see upgrades in 2021 is Glos Park, a park located in the downtown area. In 2016, the District acquired 135 Palmer Drive, a building adjacent to Glos Park. This year, the goal is to demolish the building and parking lot, which are in poor condition, and return it to open space for the densely populated neighborhood. Other site improvements would be completed this year as well, based on public feedback.

Courts Plus

Courts Plus roof improvements are also included in the proposed budget. The majority of the facility’s roof is original, making it 30 years old. Leaks have increased over the years and it is beyond its expected useful life. Staff propose replacing the roof in phases starting in 2021 with the largest portion. This project will eliminate the temporary placement of buckets and overhead water traps above the ceiling due to leaks and reduce maintenance expenses. The smaller second and third phases of the roof project are proposed to be completed in 2022 and 2026, respectively.

Discussion of the 2021 Proposed Budget will continue at upcoming Park Board meetings, with the presentation of the 2021 Proposed Operating Budget scheduled for February 22.