Referendum Progress Report - Summer 2011
Otter Cove Aquatic Park - Opened May 28, 2011
Referendum Progress Report - Spring 2011
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center - Opened April 20, 2011
Since the referendum passed in February 2008, much progress on improvements to neighborhood parks has been made.
|Renaux Manor Park Basketball Courts||$16,000|
|Cambridge Park Playground||$47,125|
|Taly Park Playground||$41,849|
|East Side Sports Complex Shelters (2)||$82,480|
|East Side Sports Complex Lighted Football Field||$276,497|
|East Side Sports Complex Asphalt pathways||$96,731|
|Langum Park Dugout replacement||$29,500|
|Langum Park Tennis Court Reconstruction||$60,000|
|Charlemagne/Kingswood Park Playground||$47,988|
|Cranston Meadows Park Playground||$28,596|
Referendum Progress Report - Fall 2010
Otter Cove Aquatic Park
Construction has moved along steadily at Otter Cove Aquatic Park - the 9.2 acre pool complex site located at the corner of Peck and Campton Hills Roads in West Side Community Park. Concrete has been poured for the lazy river, pool decks and sidewalks. Contracted crews have installed gutters and mechanical operating systems. Interior building components, such as cabinetry, countertops and toilets, have been installed for the pool lobby, restrooms and locker rooms. The diving board and equipment for the spray amenities and water features will be installed soon. Park District staff members are actively planning for a grand opening to be held in June 2011.
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
Every day brings the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center another step closer to completion. Since construction resumed last spring, concrete floors have been poured and walls have gone up. A minor setback with roofing occurred in early summer when a contractor filed for bankruptcy, but the situation was resolved, and work has proceeded as planned.
As fixtures and floor coverings are put in this fall, the true character of Hickory Knolls’ nature-based interior design has begun to take place. Earth tones accented with bright splashes of color mimic the natural landscape that can be seen out the building’s expansive windows.
Meanwhile, other elements important to Hickory Knolls’ “green” architecture and energy efficient operation have been ensconced in the building’s infrastructure, never to be seen again. Wells were drilled and the inner workings of a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system have been installed and structural insulated panels (SIPs), a high-performance, energy-conserving building material, have
been lowered into place. Stay tuned for information of a grand opening celebration.
Referendum Progress Report - Spring/Summer 2010
Environmental Education Center
Snow and cold may have forced a slowdown in construction, but progress on the Park District’s new environmental education center continued in other ways.
First and foremost, the facility now has a name – Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. Known for its strength and longevity, the hickory makes a fitting symbol for the new building, which will serve the residents for many generations to come.
In addition, shagbark
hickories dot the park’s gently rolling hills, or knolls, “which enliven the park’s expansive natural area and serve as a reminder of the park’s ancient history. The terrain was formed by the ebb and flow action of the Wisconsinian glacier, which retreated from the St. Charles area about 12,000 years ago.
The term “Discovery Center” was chosen to exemplify how the facility, its exhibits and events will serve the community. So many treasures, natural and cultural alike, are hidden in plain sight. The Hickory Knolls Discovery Center will allow residents to truly discover these gems through interactive displays, interpretive signs, art exhibitions and live performances. Staff has designed a series of modular components that can be changed monthly, seasonally or annually. An interpretive display on birds, for example, may highlight migrating species in spring and fall, focus on nesting birds in summer and detail species common to bird feeders in winter.
Warmer spring temperatures should allow construction to return to its normal pace. Look for news of the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center grand opening later this year on the District’s website at www.stcparks.org.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park
Construction is now underway for Otter Cove Aquatic Park located at the corner of Peck and Campton Hills Roads in West Side Community Park (formerly Campton Hills Park). Although construction bids were approved by the Park Board in March 2009, the construction permit for the pools was not granted to the Park District until October 2009. The architectural review process conducted by the Illinois Department of Public Health in Springfield took in excess of seven months to complete, causing the loss of the 2009 summer construction season.
The Park District’s initial goal was to open the facility for the 2010 operating season. However, because of the late permit approval from the State, the opening will be delayed until summer 2011. Otter Cove will feature something for every member of the family including a zero depth activity pool, a shallow toddler pool, an 8-lane lap pool, a tube slide, a drop slide, diving boards, a concession area and a lazy river. Once construction is substantially completed, Park District crews will be responsible for landscaping the 9.2 acre site.
Please note that Swanson Pool at Pottawatomie Park will be open for public use during the 2010 summer season.
Referendum Progress Report - Winter 2010
Environmental Education Center
Construction continues on the Park District’s new environmental education center. Site grading and excavation were completed in early fall and work on the building has proceeded as weather has allowed.
As construction crews work on the building, Park District staff have been designing and assembling displays for the building’s lobby and exhibit room. In addition, staff members have made trips to local businesses to procure gently used work tables, desks and other furnishings. Reuse is an important step in waste reduction and is in keeping with the building’s philosophy of making a positive impact on the community with as little impact on the environment as possible.
Interpretive signs for the many environmentally friendly features, such as geo-
thermal heating and cooling, and a green roof on the entrance canopy, also are in development. A checklist is being used to track the progress on the building’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) features to ensure that criteria for each feature have been met. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2010.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park
Construction is now underway at Otter Cove Aquatic Park located at the corner of Peck and Campton Hills Roads at West Side Community Park (formerly Campton Hills Park). Although construction bids were approved by the Park Board in March 2009, the construction permit for the pools was not granted to the Park District until October 1, 2009; the architectural review process conducted by the Illinois Department of Public Health in Springfield took in excess of 7 months to complete, causing the loss of the summer construction season.
The Park District’s initial goal was to open the complex for the 2010 operating season. However, because of the late permit approval from the State, the opening most likely will be delayed until summer 2011. Jim Breen, Park District Director, stated “We have been advised by the architect and construction management company that the opening date depends upon how much progress can be made constructing the pool basins over the next two months. Cold and wet weather over the fall, winter and spring months will adversely impact the construction schedule.
Once construction is substantially completed, Park District crews will be responsible for landscaping the 9.2 acre site. Again, the weather will affect our progress.” The Park District will keep residents updated via its website on the projected opening date. If Otter Cove is not open in 2010, Swanson Pool at Pottawatomie Park will be open for public use.
When completed, Otter Cove will feature something for every member of the family, including a zero depth activity pool, a shallow toddler pool, 8 lane lap pool, a tube slide, drop slide, diving boards, concession area and a lazy river.
Referendum Progress Report - Fall 2009
Environmental Education Center
Construction bids for the new environmental education center were approved by the Park Board at its meetings on May 26 and June 9. The facility, which has yet to be named, will include a variety of educational, interactive exhibits for people of all ages. Displays will focus on the natural history of the park’s natural area, specifically its woodland, wetland, prairie and savanna environments. The center and the park’s natural areas will enlighten visitors to the elements of nature in their own community, according to Director James Breen.
The Environmental Education Center will feature LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified architectural criteria which measures how well a building or community performs in energy savings, water efficiency, Co2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The building and grounds will feature many green elements such as a geothermal heating system, extra insulation, insulated glass, reflective roof membrane, a roof garden at the main entrance canopy, rain garden and irrigation system, building components made from renewable and recycled resources, etc. Many “green” elements will be suitable for incorporating into both new and existing homes and businesses.
In anticipation of the new building, the District’s restoration staff is working on the area just west of the future environmental education center to restore a savanna, an ecological community that features scattered trees and large areas
of grasses and forbs (non-grass flowering plants). Non-native turf grass beneath the site’s many white and bur oaks has been herbicided and burned, making
way for many varieties of native herbaceous plants and shrubs.
New Pool Complex
Construction bids for the new pool complex at West Side Community Park (formerly Campton Hills Park) were approved by the Park Board at its meetings on March 10 and 24. The facility, to be named the Otter Cove Aquatic Park, will include a zero depth activity pool, a shallow toddler pool, eight lap lanes, a tube slide, a drop body slide, diving boards, a concession area, and a lazy river. The aquatic park will be themed around a river otter and his friends. Construction will begin pending approval of the Illinois Department of Public Health, which is charged with the responsibility of reviewing pool plans.
Referendum Progress Report - Summer 2009
At the St. Charles Park District Board meeting on March 23, the Park Board approved construction bids for the new pool complex at West Side Community Park (formerly Campton Hills Park). The facility, to be named the Otter Cove Aquatic Park, will include a zero depth activity pool, a shallow toddler pool, eight lap lanes, a tube slide, a drop body slide, diving boards, a concession area, and a lazy river. The aquatic park will be themed around a river otter and his friends. Before construction can begin this spring/summer, the Park District is waiting for permits to be approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Construction bids for the new environmental education center are expected to be opened on May 14. The results will be presented to the Park Board on May 26. The District plans to begin construction mid-summer. The facility, which has yet to be named, will include a variety of educational, interactive exhibits for people of all ages. Displays will focus on the natural history of the area, specifically its woodland, wetland, prairie and savanna environments. Staff hopes that the center will enlighten visitors to the elements of nature in their own community. In addition, the building will feature LEED certified architecture including a rain garden and a geothermal heating and cooling system. Many “green” elements will be suitable for incorporating into both new and existing homes and businesses.
Referendum Progress Report - Spring 2009
Before the snow fell this winter, the earth work for the Campton Hills Park Swimming Pool Complex was completed. Construction bids for items such as carpentry, electrical, concrete, plumbing, etc., will be received on February 24th from several companies, and staff will analyze them in hopes of beginning construction of the foundations for the pools, bath house and more. Throughout the planning process for the new Environmental Education Center at Campton Hills Park, the Park Board and staff have been guided to make the building as energy and resource efficient as possible. Visitors can expect to see many examples of green construction materials and methods, as well as conformance to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. Plaques and signs will interpret the building’s many green features, and highlight those that can be easily and inexpensively duplicated at home.
The new Environmental Education Center, expected to open in early 2010, is intended to serve not only as a destination, but also as an invitation to explore the amazing biodiversity just outside the building’s doors. Exhibits within the lobby and exhibit room will reflect this directive. Dioramas will depict a geological timeline and explain how our region came to look the way it does today. The centerpiece of this exhibit will include an indoor wetland featuring Blanding’s turtles, an ancient species now threatened in Illinois due to habitat destruction. The exhibit room will focus on the predominant ecosystems (woodland, wetland, prairie, savanna) at Campton Hills Park and also address human impacts that have affected these areas, for worse and for better. Exhibits will include an interactive mural designed to attune visitor’s senses to the park’s wildlife inhabitants, as well as the park’s Native American wigwam and dugout canoe. In regard to acquiring open space, it is important to note that Park District staff attends numerous meetings, including meetings of the City of St. Charles’ Plan Commission, to make sure that the ratio of land development and open space in our community is adequate to serve the needs of new and existing residents.
Referendum Progress Report - Winter 2009
The St. Charles Park Board plans to break ground in spring 2009 on the 12,000 square foot environmental education center, which will be located west of Campton Hills Park’s athletic fields at the south end of the community garden plots. The center will feature three classrooms, an interpretive exhibit area, nature trails, and more. The development plan will incorporate “green architecture” designed to LEED certification standards, including geo-thermal heating for the building and recycling of rain water.
Construction is also progressing at the site of the Campton Hills Park Swimming Pool Complex. Grading is now underway and the facility should be ready for a grand opening in June 2010.
At the East Side Sports Complex, lighting is being installed on one multi-purpose play field and shelters will be constructed in the center of each ball diamond complex to serve the thousands of youth and adults who participate in league play annually.
Referendum Progress Report - Fall 2008
The St. Charles Park Board plans to break ground this fall on the Campton Hills Swimming Pool Complex. Improvements to the pool’s development plan include:
- keeping the lap pool and the activity pool as separate amenities
- increasing the dimensions of the lap pool in the shallow end portion of the pool, which will create an L-shaped pool, in order to expand it to 25-yards and service lap swimmers during daily operations
By September 2008, large shelters will be constructed in the center of each baseball/softball diamonds at the East Side Sports Complex. Both shelters will serve approximately 3,000 youth and adults who use the park for league play. Shelters will protect participants from inclement weather and provide space for program functions.
Also, new playground equipment will be installed at Cambridge and Taly Parks to meet current safety standards.
For an overview on the Park District’s Feb. 5, 2008 bond issue referendum, which favorably passed, click HERE.