Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, November 21, 2016
6:30 p.m. – Park District Administrative Office

Attendees Present

Commissioners/Committee: Chair Amy Wolfe, Ryrie Pellaton, Stephanie Foster
Staff:  Bill Lambrecht, Kathy Bingham

Staff:  Director Wilson, Ken Eppelheimer, Carol Heafey, Jeff Bowen
Commissioner:  John Olvany

Attendees Absent

Jeff Groves

I. Meeting Called to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:32 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Foster moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 17, 2016 Parks & Recreation Committee meeting; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. Communication and Correspondence

Director Wilson directed the Committee to the additional handouts that were provided, including an email chain, and information regarding the Avoca Center discussion.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

The Attendance Record will become part of the permanent record.

V. New Business

A. Avoca Center
Commissioner Wolfe asked that Avoca School District 37 Superintendent Kevin Jauch provide the Committee with an update of where the school district is in the planning process and the current situation related to Avoca Center.  Mr. Jauch explained that in 2013 a life safety survey was completed which revealed some major issues that need to be addressed. The costs are coming in between 6 and 7 million. The school board has been discussing whether to sell or renovate, and how the renovations might be financed.  Due to the life safety concerns, a decision needs to be made. The school district is currently renting to tenants. Recently the board has narrowed the options to include: renovation, sale of the building and associated land to developers for single family homes, or raise the building and leave green space.

He continued by addressing each option individually and the pros and cons of each.  Mr. Jauch added that one of the biggest decisions for the board is the tenants.  The school district needs to be conscious of their needs, and is obligated to give them at least 12 months’ notice if they decide to terminate the lease.

The school district is receiving emails and phone calls regarding the property and has created a small website to keep residents informed.

The Committee expressed their interest in being involved in the discussions and asked to be considered as a partner.

Mr. Karcazes, 2932 Iroquois Rd., Wilmette – As a neighbor  to the school, Mr. Karcazes expressed that he and his family have an interest in the proceedings and are concerned that publicly owned space will be sold for homes and feels there are better uses.

VI. Managers’ Reports

Carol Heafey (Program Manager) reported on the following topics:

  • Attendance at Halloween Happenings was down this year; most likely due to the World Series games and end of season soccer parties.
  • The Preschool is going through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) licensing process.
  • 250 attended the Mother-Son dance.
  • December 3 is Breakfast with Santa. The three seatings are full.
  • Santa’s mailbox is ready to receive letters.
  • Theater and dance departments are getting ready for the Nutcracker.
  • Gingerbread Workshops are December 8 and 9.
  • The Dance Team performed recently at Sunrise nursing home.
  • 370 first-third and 422 fourth–eighth graders are enrolled in basketball.

Kathy Bingham (Superintendent of Recreation) reported on the following topics:

  • Julie Mantice is now managing the Mallinckrodt Center.
  • Thanksgiving Dinner will be held at Mallinckrodt on Thanksgiving.  This event is sponsored by the Rotary.
  • Liz Cox is the new Manager at Center Fitness Club.
  • Hustle through the Holidays is a new program being offer at the fitness club.  It is a mini indoor triathlon and over 50 people are participating.
  • Gymnastics registrations are up so far.
  • Winter break classes are being planned and staffed.

VII. Unfinished Business

A. Memorial Tree Donations
Superintendent Lambrecht reported on how other area park districts administer their donation programs.  Staff will review the information gathered and make a recommendation to the committee at the next Parks & Recreation Committee meeting.

In response to a question from Superintendent Bingham, Commissioner Wolfe stated that she would like to have a policy in place so that donations are handled consistently throughout the park district.  Director Wilson also asked if the Committee has a goal for the program and if it would address the current donations.

B. Landscape Plan Budget
Staff reported that $25,000 has been budgeted for 2017 for landscape plans and the first place to start would be Keay Nature Center and Thornwood Park.

VIII. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:34 p.m.