WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING


Date: January 20, 2014

Location: Village Training Room

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Attendance:
Commissioners:  Shelley; Olvany; Crowley; Abbott    
Staff: Lambrecht, Bingham, Eppelheimer, Bowen, Heafey, Groves
Visitors:   Kathy Routliffe (Wilmette Life)     

    
Topics for Discussion

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
     a) November 18, 2013
3) Communication and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Manager’s Reports
6) Old Business
     a) Outdoor Ice Rinks
     b) Underground Storage Tank at West Park
7) New Business
8) Adjournment

Discussions/Decisions Made
  
1) The Committee meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m.

2) The Committee reviewed the minutes of November 18, 2013 and approved them as amended by general consent.

3) Under Communications and Correspondence, the Committee reviewed a note from George Vandervoort complimenting the staff at Mallinckrodt. They also reviewed an email communication from Ricki Podorovsky in regard to the District’s registration practice of using ages versus the grades a child is in. After some discussion, staff informed the Committee that they are evaluating all of these types of issues and this one in particular has already been changed.

4) Recognition of Visitors: None

5) Under Managers Reports, Recreation Program Manager Carol Heafey reported that new lobby furniture has been installed in the lobby of the Early Childhood Center. The new furniture replaces the furniture and plants that were installed when the facility opened 19 years ago. The Winter Break Camps went very well and participation was at 335 which is down 22 participants from last year. Carol also reported that she is currently accepting resumes for the position of General Recreation Supervisor. This position oversees most of the large camps such as the Great Gillson, Wiggleworms, and Junior Day Camp. They also oversee many of the unique programs and workshops in addition to After School Recreation and other special events such as Halloween Happening. Staff has posted the job on the IPRA Website and will be posting it at the State-wide conference being held this week.

Winter classes are off to a good start and despite the cold weather all programs have been running with the exception of Early Childhood when the School Districts closed. Any programs that were cancelled due to staff not showing up or for any other issues are being made up. Registration stands at 2,145 which is down 107 registrants from last year. Participation in music classes has greatly increased from previous sessions. The programs have also not been affected by the satellite offerings at McKenzie School. Basketball enrollment is at 544 for the 4th through 8th grade classes (down 46 from last year) and at 562 for 1st through 3rd grades (down 30 from last year). Many children have transitioned to travel teams which is the reason for our reduced numbers. The new offerings at McKenzie School are going well and staff is currently in discussions with Central, Romona and Harper Schools and evaluating the options for the 2014/15 school year. The goal is to not adversely affect the programs at the Community Recreation Center (CRC). The 2014 Camp Fair is being held at the CRC on Tuesday, January 21st from 6 pm to 8 pm. Camp Directors will be in attendance to answer questions as will representatives from NSSRA for questions in regard to inclusion. Commissioner Shelly asked if the Women’s Soccer League would run again this spring and Ms. Heafey replied it would and that it had been successful last fall.

Recreation Facilities General Manager Jeff Groves reported that the main lobby furniture at the CRC was reupholstered over the winter break and it turned out very well. During the winter break, the sports gym floor received its annual refinishing from Imperial Service who also stripped and waxed the floors in Early Childhood and other first floor rooms. Staff is currently preparing to participate in the IPRA Conference which runs from January 23 to 25, 2014. The Fitness Center created a new promotion called “Lose to Win” and staff had hoped for 20 participants but then actually ended up with 52 participants. A total of 42 of those 52 participants were not currently members so it is hoped that some of those participants will end up buying memberships. A new female gymnastics coach has been hired. Also, after 38½ years our morning maintenance man, Larry Lee, will be retiring on February 7, 2014.

Commissioner Shelly asked how the District’s first production of the Nutcracker went this year and Carol Heafey replied it went very well. Superintendent Bingham added that this was a unique show in that it combined dance and theater. Commissioner Olvany asked when the big dance recital would be presented and staff replied that it is staged every May and was moved back to the CRC last year.

6) Under Old Business, Superintendent Lambrecht reported that all three outdoor ice rinks were currently available for use. The crews had them built up before Christmas but with the warm weather we started to lose them. They were then brought back and were up for the holiday break period. Staff is currently resurfacing them every couple of days and will continue to do so until there is a prolonged period of warm weather. Commissioner Shelly noted that she has seen a lot of people at Thornwood Park even during the day. Commissioner Olvany reported that he has seen people using the rink at Gillson Park as well. Superintendent Lambrecht added that this was the second longest season to date that the rinks were able to be used.

 
Superintendent Lambrecht reported he had received preliminary cost estimates for the athletic field work at West Park. This work would take place as part of the Village’s project to construct an underground storage tank to help alleviate flooding in homes west of Romona Road. The estimate is broken down into three sections. The first section of the estimate includes baseball field amenities that would be required if the field is either artificial or natural turf. The third section is to construct new parallel parking along the west side of West Park Drive. This too would happen in either scenario as would the park restoration around the perimeter of the fields. The area where there would be some variance is in the field improvements. With either artificial or natural turf, drainage would have to be included. With the artificial turf, there is a perimeter curb, a stone base and an artificial surface that would be included. With a natural surface, there would have to be topsoil, sod and irrigation. The topsoil might be salvaged from the site but storage during the project is an issue. The other problem with the natural turf is the ongoing maintenance due to wear so the long term maintenance costs would be different. The difference in cost between the two options is about $500,000.

After further discussion, the Committee asked if staff could review options for the addition of lighting and washrooms on-site. Staff stated they would look at that but added that the Village is anxious to get the information from us so that they can make a decision and proceed with the design work. Their hope is to be under construction in 2015 and the Committee asked to be kept informed as discussions proceeded with Village staff.

7) Under New Business, Commissioner Olvany asked that the Commissioners take a look at the winter facilities that were just opened in Winnetka and one of the amenities was a sled hill near the new outdoor artificial ice rink. Staff added that the hill was built using excavated materials from the various projects at the site which saved the Winnetka Park District from paying the hauling and disposal costs. Commissioner Olvany added that he hopes to provide some winter activities at Gillson as part of the master plan.

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 7:19 pm.

Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht 

MINUTES APPROVED ON FEBRUARY 24, 2014.