CAROL STREAM – Two years after construction began, Carol Stream’s new $20 million Fountain View Recreation Center has opened its doors.
Officials and community members gathered Sept. 7 at the new center, located at 910 N. Gary Ave., to celebrate its completion at a grand opening event. The center opened for use on Monday, Sept. 9.
Plans to build the 90,000-square-foot recreational facility began in 2006, after the Collins Indoor Aquatic Center, which housed the town’s indoor pool, neared the end of its lifespan, said Julie Vogl, Director of Marketing for the Carol Stream Park District.
“We started talking to people and said, ‘Hey, let’s do this right,’” Vogl said. “'And if we’re going to do a big project like this, let’s make sure it includes all of the needs of the community.'”
President of the Carol Stream Park District Board of Commissioners Tim Powers said the board spent a significant amount of time meeting with residents in focus groups.
“All the amenities that are part of the building right now were put in because the residents believed this was what they wanted and this was what they’d use,” Powers said.
The new facility includes a 25-yard indoor pool, a warm water pool for therapeutic exercise, an indoor track, three basketball courts, a large multipurpose room, an attached patio, a 7,500-square-foot fitness center and two exercise classrooms.
The project was largely funded by a $37 million referendum approved in 2010. About $2.5 million of the total cost was funded through grants, including a $2 million Park and Recreational Facility Construction Program (PARC) grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“We are essentially doubling our offerings for healthy recreational activities for everybody,” Vogl said.
The recreation center is designed for use by all ages and abilities, Vogl said, and she expects “tens of thousands” to use the facility throughout the course of the year.
The facility, which was completed about two months late due to minor construction issues, also boasts a number of energy efficient aspects, according to both Vogl and Powers.
Powers said the district is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the center, which features a geothermal heating and cooling system, permeable pavers to reduce and clean storm water runoff, light sensors and floor-to-ceiling windows designed to increase natural lighting.
The center, which offers healthy activity options for residents, may also be healthy for the local economy.
“We’ll essentially pump $2 million back into the community throughout the year,” Vogl said.
The building and continued operation of the facility has created more than 100 jobs, according to Vogl, and “the vast majority of employees are residents or those who live nearby.”
“The recreation center as part of the town center will not only bring people together to recreate in a healthful way, but will also stir some of the businesses that surround that area,” Powers said. “We hope as time goes on to bring in more retail business to help stimulate the economy in that area and the village.”
For Powers, building the brand new center was an essential initiative for both the park district and the community.
“The mission of our park district and every other park agency in the world is to provide recreation for the community,” he said. “If we didn’t offer recreational activities combined with educational opportunities, there would be no other entity that could do that for the people.”
Form information about memberships at Fountain View Recreation Center, call 630-784-6100 or visit www.csparks.org.