President's Message

Fall 2015

          Welcome to a whole new season of programs and special events at the Wilmette Park District: Experience a World Wide Day of Play… take on Quidditch… enjoy our new Mother & Son Dance… try out Sculpture for kids and adults… drop in for Mega Movie Nights! This Fall nearly 50 new programs and special events join 500 classes offered for newborns through active adults.

          We’ve got a fresh new look at the gymnastics gymnasium in the Community Recreation Center. The interior space of this 10,000 + square foot facility has been redesigned and fitted with new equipment including uneven parallel bars, horizontal bars, beams, matting and a floor exercise sprung floor. The gymnastics facility has served the Park District well since it first opened in 1995. An estimated 10,189 children are enrolled each year in our gymnastics programs.

          The Village’s construction of an underground sanitary reservoir at West Park is expected to be completed by mid-September. At that time the park will be turned back over to the Park District for restoration and the installation of a synthetic turf field that can be used for multiple sports including baseball, soccer, lacrosse, football and flag football. The Park District is using an environmentally safe virgin rubber infill in lieu of a product made from shredded recycled tires for the fields. That choice increased the original cost of the project by about $365,000, but the Board of Park Commissioners firmly believes the investment in the health and safety of our users is worth the added expense. The state-of-the-art turf fields are expected to be ready for use with the Spring 2016 season.

          Two referenda proposing infrastructure and facility replacements/renovations to the lakefront parks were rejected by residents in the April election. The Board respects the community’s opinion and is now in the process of determining the next steps to take regarding the future of the lakefront. In an effort to better understand the community’s expectations, and what it is willing to financially support, the Board is in the process of weighing the pros and cons of having an outside firm create and administer a survey. The results of that survey would be used to guide the Board’s decision-making as it moves ahead to address the continued needs of the lakefront operations.

          And finally, on behalf of the Board and the community, I want to thank Jim Brault and Gary Benz for their dedicated work during their tenure on the Board. Both Jim and Gary spent many hours serving the community as commissioners over the past decade. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome two new members to the Board—Stephanie Foster and Ryrie Pellaton.

          I encourage you to provide the Board with feedback on any concerns you might have regarding the operations of the Park District. Please do not hesitate to contact me at jolvany@wilpark.org.

John J. Olvany
President
Board of Park Commissioners

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