Indoor walking track popular choice for new activity center

The Naperville Park District will vote to acquire this vacant land at Quincy Avenue and Fort Hill Drive for an indoor sports facility. | Susan Frick Carlman~Sun-Times Media
The Naperville Park District will vote to acquire this vacant land at Quincy Avenue and Fort Hill Drive for an indoor sports facility. | Susan Frick Carlman~Sun-Times Media

An indoor walking track, cardio equipment, and athletic courts were among the most requested features talked about Tuesday as the Naperville Park District held the second of three public information meetings regarding the new activity center that will be built at the corner of Fort Hill Drive and Quincy Avenue.

From 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., park officials met with residents to gather input, this time with a definite emphasis on seniors and their specific program needs.

Director of Planning Eric Shutes said the first meeting, which was held virtually all day last Saturday, drew more than 150 residents and that the Park District was pleased with the turnout.

“We had a steady stream of people and we’re getting good feedback about the facility in terms of people identifying what the high priorities are and the amenities people want,” Shutes said.

Park District Director of Marketing Sameera Luthman said those residents who could not attend meetings were sending email inquiries as well.

“I’ve received a number of emails from residents during the past week and I’m sure we’ll be getting more,” she said.

Park officials once again offered the opportunity for residents to place circle-shaped stickers on poster boards where some of the more popular proposed amenities were listed. The indoor track, children’s playing areas, activity courts and space for exercise machines continue to be the most popular choices.

Residents like Barb Zigterman of Naperville called the activity center something “that was long overdue.”

“I’ve lived here in Naperville 33 years, and we really need an indoor walking track as well as some exercise equipment,” Zigterman said. “I belong to the Edwards Heath group, and while it’s very nice, it’s also kind of expensive. I’d love for there to be a pool too, but I guess that’s not feasible.”

Naperville resident Delores Standart also said the indoor track was needed, along with cardio machines. She said she looks forward to not having to travel to other communities to find exercise facilities.

“I have to go to Lisle now to do some of the things I enjoy and it will be nice to have something really close to my house,” Standart said. “I really don’t want too many things other than the track and some cardio machines. I know a pool is out of the question.”

Ron Biondo of Naperville said that he currently has to use facilities belonging to local school districts, including traveling to Downers Grove to play volleyball.

“The Park District really needs indoor activity courts with so many people having to use school facilities, and I also agree with the indoor track and the cardio equipment,” he said. “I see this as something that will be nice for the community where the things we need will be right here.”

Like Zigterman, Naperville’s Dick Page said he looks forward to having another option for his workouts.

“This would give us something to do on a cold day where you can exercise, shower, and then go home,” Page said. “The cost is going to be lower for residents, and I agree with what the majority of people are saying about the amenities we need.”

The third and final meeting will be held at the Municipal Center on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 9 p.m. in Meeting Rooms B & C.

Officials said the activity center is tentatively scheduled to open in the late fall of 2016.