Updates from the November Park Board Meetings

November 4: Facility and Recreation Committee Meeting

Architect consultants, Holabird and Root, presented renovation and new construction options for the West Ridge Parks and Site Project. Following feedback from the Committee, the team will take time to complete a proforma analysis on programs proposed for the West Ridge Center. The final report from Holabird and Root and Gilbane will return to the Park Board alongside the results of the proforma.

November 9: Workshop Meeting of the Park Board

The First Northeastern District of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois donated life-saving materials to the Park District as part of the “Stop the Bleed” Program.

Staff received consensus from the Park Board of Commissioners to approve at the November 16 Regular Meeting the Truth in Taxation Resolution #2022-07, where the estimated percentage increase in the proposed 2023 aggregate levy over the amount of real estate taxes extended upon the final 2022 aggregate levy based on 5% tax cap and anticipated growth is 6.99%.

Staff reviewed a draft of the Five-Year Capital Plan.

The Park Board of Commissioners approved the Centennial Ice Arena Renovation Project Change Order #5 in the amount of $184,295 for East Facia Improvements.  

Lastly, staff provided construction updates for the Danny Cunniff Park Pond Deck Removal project, the Centennial Ice Arena Facility and Site Renovations project, the Centennial Ice Arena Rink Floor Replacement project, the Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Ramp Replacement project, the Moraine Beach Pathway project, and Districtwide Asphalt projects.

November 16: Regular Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved the 2023 Board Meeting Calendar, the 2023 IAPD/IPRA Credentials Certificate, the Truth in Taxation Resolution #2022-07, the 2023 Heller Nature Center HVAC Replacement Bid, and the Ground Lease Agreement between the City of Highland Park and the Park District of Highland Park, for 1755 St. Johns Avenue.

Staff presented the 2022 summer camp report.

The fruits of your feedback have arrived!

The Park District is excited to share the final playground renovation design for Moroney’s Weil Tot Lot. Following several rounds of community engagement, the collected feedback was translated into the final equipment selection and playground layout. See updated playground design rendering here.

The Park District would also like to share the redesigned playground entrance pathway, which will be ADA accessible and ease the slope into the playground. Through community engagement, the desire for stroller parking was heard, and will be included at the entrance path. See updated entrance pathway plan here.

Next Steps: We are on track to bid out this project in December and construction is anticipated to begin in the spring.

Ice Rink Replacement Project

The concrete slab has been poured. The contractor will now conduct work on the mechanical system while the concrete cures.

About the Project

During regular annual maintenance in June, staff uncovered an unknown issue on the Centennial rink floor. The Park District acted swiftly to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the facility and ice flooring system with an engineering firm. The findings confirmed that the building is structurally sound. However, the rink floor had been compromised and requires complete replacement.  

Dec 26-30 @ 9am-12pm

Creative Dramatics Camp

Ages 4-7

Introduce your child to the magical world of theatre with the perfect blend of acting, singing, dancing and fun! An instructor will build upon the unique personalities each child brings, while also providing campers with pertinent tools that will help them advance to the next level of their theatrical journey. At the end of the week, campers will be able to share their progress with loved ones through an energetic and age appropriate showcase! Campers will also be able to flex their technical skills by constructing props, costume and set pieces! This camp offers everything and more!

Dec 26-30 @ 9am-12pm

Intro to Theatre Camp

Ages 8-12

Your artistic journey awaits! There’s lots in store with this jam-packed introductory theatre camp! This camp will allow aspiring young actors to gain confidence and ace their next audition. Campers will also learn acting and directing techniques from industry professionals. Hone in on special skills and end the week with a new theatrical resume, audition package and professional headshot! Campers will have a mini showcase at the end of the week for friends and family. What else are you waiting for? Register today!

Dec 27-30 @ 9am-3pm
Jan 3-6 @ 9am-3pm

Winter Break Camp

Grades 3-5

Spend winter break with some of your favorite summer camp staff. Campers will participate in some of their favorite camp activities like gymnastics, ice skating, swimming, open gym, camp games, arts & crafts, and weather permitting – outside snow play! Participants must bring their own lunch each day.

Dec 27-30 @ 9am-12pm
Jan 3-6 @ 9am-12pm

Junior Tennis Winter Camp

Ages 5-14

Get out of the house and hit the courts this winter break. Drill and play with our pros and also play some games. New activities for smaller kids and board games. Pack lunch with your child.

Dec 26-30 @ 1-3pm

Improv for Teens Camp

Ages 13-17

YES, AND! This camp will allow aspiring young comedians to think quick on their feet and dive deep into what it takes to be an improvisational actor! Through movement exercises, fun and energetic games, and exploring action and reaction, campers will build confidence and enhance their social skills. Looking for a fun way to laugh and connect with your peers? Look no further! This camp takes an active approach in introducing teens to dreaming big and acting loud-with no limits!

Jan 2-6 @ 9am-12pm

Heroes & Villains Training Camp

Ages 6-10

Get ready for an epic battle between good and evil! Discover what qualities makes a hero and a villain! Determine what fights are worth fighting, as well as the power of friendship and collaboration. With activities, crafts, and games based on everyone’s favorite superheroes, princesses, and villains, this camp is sure to capture the imagination and inspire animation and adventure. Campers will get to choose their favorite heroes and villains—embracing the persona, characteristics, and stylings that make them so fantastically awesome! Register today and explore this WORLD of camp that has never been seen!

Jan 3-5 @ 9am-12pm

Dance Around the World

Ages 7-11

Travel around the world through dance! This brand new mini workshop will offer students the opportunity to experience different dance cultures and expand their knowledge on many styles of dance. Students will tell stories through movement and get a well-rounded understanding of dance fundamentals. This workshop will give dancers the freedom to be explorative of themselves, while having fun and creating lifelong memories!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Before heading to your favorite Park District facility, be sure to check our Thanksgiving hours.

FacilityThursday, November 24Friday, November 25Saturday, November 26
Centennial Ice ArenaClosedClosedClosed
Deer Creek Racquet Club8am-noon6:30am-noon7:30am-6pm
Heller Nature CenterBuilding Closed, Trails Open 7:30am to DuskBuilding Closed, Trails Open 7:30am to DuskBuilding Open 9am-3pm, Trails Open 7:30am to Dusk
Highland Park Golf Learning CenterClosedClosedClosed
Lincoln School (Gymnastics)ClosedClosedClosed
Recreation Center of Highland Park (Fitness)7am-noon7am-4pm7am-6pm
River's Edge Mini GolfClosedClosedClosed
Sunset Valley Golf Club8am-4pm (weather permitting)8am-4pm (weather permitting)8am-4pm (weather permitting)
West Ridge CenterClosedClosedClosed

Sheet pile installation continues and is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

About the Project

High lake levels accompanied by intense storms over the past few years caused damage to the breakwater wall/barge and concrete ramp at Park Avenue Boating Beach. These extreme weather conditions have affected communities all along the Illinois Lake Michigan shoreline.  

At the April 27 meeting, the Park Board approved construction of Phase 1 of the Park Avenue Breakwater Project in the amount of $2,221,890. The base scope of this project includes removal of the existing barge breakwater and boat ramp, stockpiling and salvaging existing breakwater fill and armor stone, construction of a new steel sheet pile breakwater with a concrete crown wall and construction of a new concrete boat launch.   Funding for the project includes $2,000,000 from the Park District’s capital fund and $400,000 from the Parks Foundation of Highland Park, made possible from community donations

Helical piles that will support the new boardwalk are currently being installed. Boardwalk sections have been delivered and will begin being installed next week. The project is expected to be completed by mid-December.

About the Project

In summer 2019, Park District began working with engineering firms, contractors, and the US Army Corps of Engineers to investigate numerous repair approaches and reopen the path and Dog Beach. In early 2020, an engineering firm was hired to develop preliminary site improvement plans. Those plans were presented to the Park Board in August 2020. After careful consideration, the Park Board elected to defer the final design phase to a future year. Repair of the beach access path is a goal in the Lakefront Master Plan Update. The project’s final design was included in the 2021 Capital Plan, and construction began as scheduled in 2022. 

This week, Park District crews added a layer of protective mulch around select trees in Sunset Woods Park, as a follow-up to the air spading project that addressed soil compaction. Properly applied, the mulch layer helps regulate soil temperature and moisture to promote root health.

Updates from the October Park Board Meetings

October 11: Finance Committee Meeting

Staff reviewed the Park District’s Fund Balance Policy and received consensus from the Finance Committee to maintain a minimum balance of 25% in the General and Recreation Funds, maintain a minimum balance of 15% in the Special Recreation Fund, and remove the Debt Service Fund policy.

Staff also reviewed the Draft Five-Year Capital Plan including projections for Fiscal Year 2022 and proposed Capital Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2023. 

Lastly, staff provide an overview of a proposed Recreation Sub-Fund for Park Avenue Boating Facility and received consensus from the Finance Committee to create the proposed Sub-Fund.

October 12: Workshop Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved Resolution 2022-06 A Declaration Honoring Executive Director Brian Romes for his contributions to the Park District of Highland Park and the extended community in response to the Fourth of July Mass Shooting.

Staff provided construction updates for the Fink Park Athletic Field Development project, Centennial Ice Arena Facility and Site Renovations project and the Rink Floor Replacement project, Hidden Creek AquaPark Concrete Pool Deck and Shade Structure Replacement project, Findings from the structural survey conducted by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) for Deer Creek Racquet Club, Districtwide Lighting projects, Recreation Center of Highland Park Dehumidification System Replacement project, Moraine Beach Pathway project, and the Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Ramp Replacement project.

October 18: Finance Committee Meeting

Staff provided an overview and recommendation of the 2023 Tax Levy. Further discussions will take place at the November 9 Workshop Meeting.

October 26: Regular Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved purchasing Replacement Shade Structures at Hidden Creek AquaPark; the changes to Policy # 3.02.4 Fund Balance; the changes to Policy # 3.15 Purchasing; the changes to Policy # 4.02 for Naming or Renaming Parks, Buildings, and Facilities in the Park District of Highland Park Policy Manual; purchasing Golf Maintenance Equipment; purchasing Capital Replacement Zero-Turn Mowers; purchasing Life Fitness Upright and Recumbent Exercise Bikes; the 2022-2023 Sunset Valley Golf Club Cart Path Bridge Replacement and Removal Agreement; entering into an agreement with Camera Corner Connecting Point for purchase of the 2023 Infrastructure Upgrade Project Phase 2 Equipment in the amount of $106,235.74; and Section 7.6 of Part-Time the Part-Time and Full-Time Employee Personnel Policy Manuals: Flexible Spending Account.

The Park District is partnering with Fill a Heart 4 Kids to help local homeless and at-risk youth stay nourished through the Thanksgiving school break. Food donations will be accepted Tuesday, Nov 1- Sunday, Nov 13 at the following locations :

Recreation Center of Highland Park
1207 Park Avenue W.

Lincoln School
711 Lincoln Ave W.

Deer Creek Racquet Club
701 Deer Creek Pkwy.

Highland Park City Hall
1707 St. Johns Ave.

West Ridge Center
636 Ridge Rd.

Public Works/Services Facility
1150 Half Day Rd.

Highland Park Senior Center
1201 Park Avenue W. 

Items Needed:

  • Nutri-Grain Breakfast Bars (no nuts)
  • Full-size Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Rice Chex Cereal
  • Single Serve Microwave Oatmeal Packets
  • Tuna Packets
  • Chicken Salad Packets
  • Hormel Microwave Shelf Stable Meals
  • Rice-A-Roni 
  • Full-size Kraft Mac & Cheese Boxes
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Plastic Jar of Pasta Sauce
  • Box of Pasta Noodles

Volunteer at our sorting and packing party!

Mon Nov 14 • 1-6:30pm
West Ridge Center • 636 Ridge Rd.
Multiple time slots available