In early 2022, the Park District hired architectural firm Holabird and Root to study West Ridge Center recognizing the need to meet growing demands for updated facilities, services, and programs for the community. The firm’s tasks included building and site visioning, site analysis, programming, planning, and preliminary design. Holabird and Root studied three options: renovation, hybrid: renovation and addition, and build new. The study took a holistic approach to the entire site, including user group and community input, and working within a budget of approximately $15 million.
The study’s results aimed to answer the critical question of whether to renovate or build new. Renovation options were determined to be costly upfront, would not meet program needs, and would carry long-term costs for continued maintenance of an aging building. New construction stood out as the best option. A preliminary site evaluation recommends placing a new facility in the southeast portion of the park and demolishing the existing building once construction is complete.