West Ridge Park Building and Site Planning
636 Ridge Road

About West Ridge Center

West Ridge Center, a former Highland Park elementary school site, is an aging building that needs extensive renovation, and its configuration no longer meets the needs of the Park District. Due to the building’s age, condition, functionality, and aging infrastructure, the Park District’s Master Plan,  GreenPrint2024, recommended replacement of the building.

Project Background

In 2019 the Park District conducted a GreenPrint 2024 Review and Amendment, which expressed the need for a multi-purpose facility as well as the need to address West Ridge Center to provide flexible programming space to better serve the community with youth and adult programming, and an opportunity for a gymnastics studio.   

The Park District started the design process for a new community center at West Ridge Park to replace the existing West Ridge Center in 2022. The plan to build new on the southeast section of West Ridge Park is supported by a preliminary planning assessment completed in 2023.

This year, the Park District of Highland Park was awarded $1.4 million through the Park and Recreational Facilities Construction (PARC) grant program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to support elements this project including a gymnastics gym, multi-functional dance room, and youth enrichment space. The PARC grant program provides funding for park and recreation facility construction projects.

Join the Conversation!

There will be various opportunities throughout the project to get involved.

Upcoming Community-Wide Meetings

The April Community Meeting has been postponed. Check back for upcoming meetings.

Preliminary Planning
Schematic Design
in progress



April 11, 2024

Park District staff shared a progress update at the April Facility and Recreation Committee meeting on April 10, 2024.

Park Board Commissioners provided feedback and requested additional information from the design consultants. They also asked to postpone the project’s community meetings until this information is provided.

April 11, 2024
March 18, 2024

In March 2024, the Park District of Highland Park began hosting internal stakeholder meetings to collect feedback to influence the schematic designs.

March 18, 2024
January 11, 2024

In January 2024, the Park District of Highland Park was awarded $1.4 million in PARC grant funding from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

January 11, 2024
June 15, 2023

The Park District of Highland Park submitted a grant application requesting $2.8 million from the Illinois Department of Natural Resource’s Park and Recreational Facilities Construction (PARC) grant program to help fund the New Community Center at West Ridge Park.

June 15, 2023
May 7, 2023

On May 6, 2023, the Park District of Highland Park held a Community Open House to share preliminary concept plans with the community to collect cares and concerns about the proposed project.

May 7, 2023
June 14, 2022

In early 2022, Holabird and Root was hired by the Park District to study options (renovate or build new) for West Ridge Center.

In June, a Preliminary Planning Study was completed for West Ridge, recommending building a new facility on the southeast portion of West Ridge Park, and demolishing the existing building once construction is complete. See the results here.

June 14, 2022