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Grant sought for Boulder Point renovations : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Grant sought for Boulder Point renovations
Park district board authorizes staff to file application with state agency

by Lyle R. Rolfe

4/3/2014

The Oswegoland Park District has filed an application for a state grant last that could help pay up to $1.875 million for the remodeling of the Boulder Point Recreation Center at Boulder Hill Pass and Ill. Route 25 in the Boulder Hill Subdivision.

Park district board members authorized the agency's staff to apply for the grant last week.

Rich Zielke, executive director, said the grant would require a match of $625,000 or 25 percent of the total estimated project cost of $2.5 million.

The park district has applied to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the PARC (Park and Recreational Facility Construction) grant, Zielke said.

He added that he expects the park district will learn this fall whether or not the grant request has been approved.

If the grant is approved, architectural work for the renovations would be completed during 2015 and actual construction be completed in 2016, he said.

The project could go above the $2.5 million, but the district would be limited to a maximum grant of $625,000 he noted.

"You'll know if and when it's approved because you'll hear a big roar from us," Zielke said.

Projects eligible under the grant program include land acquisition for constructing or expanding facilities or for preserving open space.

At their January board meeting, board members discussed applying for the grant and on the advice of their attorney, Derke Price, approved a resolution at last week's board meeting to apply.

Zielke said they learned of the grant within the past month and started talking about what could be done at the center.

"It's a very competitive process. We applied for a grant for the Winrock Pool project, but did not receive one," he said.

Work has started on preliminary drawings of improvements at the center, but park district staff will not spend a lot of time and money on them until they know if a grant will be awarded to Oswego, Zielke said.

"We've done some concept drawings and held an open house at the center last month. But once the grant is approved, we'll start doing drawings and going out for bids," he said.

Before trustees voted to approve the grant application Zielke explained some of the possible changes that have been discussed.

They include moving the back wall out and up, adding storage space on the north side of the building and freeing up more floor space so activities can be increased. Other changes include adding a vestibule at the front entrance.

Zielke said the present door opens directly to the outside allowing cold in during the winter and heat in during the summer. It also would mean better working conditions for staff members whose work stations are very close to the entrance and reduced energy costs, he noted.

He mentioned that they would also like to increase the size of the waiting room and viewing area so more parents can watch their children performing.

Also several large windows would be replaced, Chad Feldotto, senior park planner said.

"When we were going through the polar vortex this winter, Mike Fee put a thermometer against the windows and it registered nine degrees on the inside, so obviously they are not energy efficient," he said.

The building was constructed in 1967 to house the Zentmyer Ford dealership. As a result, the front portion of the building still includes large ceiling to floor windows that once adjoined the dealership's showroom.

"They're great windows for looking at cars, but not great windows for conducting recreation programs," Zielke added.

Feldotto said they would wall in the large windows and install transom windows high on the walls. This also would help conserve energy, he said.

On the south side of the building the preschool children's entrance has a single door that opens to the outside. So a vestibule would be added, giving the children a place to sit and wait for their parents, rather than all of them trying to see out the single door.

This also will help with energy conservation, Feldotto noted.

The work includes a new roof as well as new heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

Schematic drawings of the proposed improvements are on display at Prairie Point, 313 East Washington Street, Oswego.




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