Rec facility opened in south Naperville; new programs planned
By David Sharos For The Sun December 8, 2012 2:02PM
Naperville Park District employee Brock Atwell helps his son, Caden, across a balance beam during an open house at the park district's new south Naperville facility at 2244 W. 95th St. on Saturday, December 8, 2012. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:41AM
For those who have longed for more recreational space in the south end of Naperville, the wait is over.
“We’ve received feedback from the community through surveys and public meetings that it was time to add more space to the Park District for residents living in the southern portion of town,” said Ray McGury, executive director of the Naperville Park District. “We’re excited about unveiling this new indoor recreation space.”
The newly-renovated space inside the Fry Property Building at 2244 W. 95th St. was the talk of the town Saturday morning as officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m., followed by refreshments and a preview of programs the Park District plans to offer at its newest facility.
More than 170 people registered to stop by for a preview Saturday morning as Park District officials and staff gathered on the second floor of the Fry Building for the program. Nearby residents like Vanessa Duson said they just walked over to have a look.
“I’m thrilled there is a facility now right by my house, and I look forward to using it,” Duson said. “My daughter is hoping to get involved in some classes here with movie production.”
Park District Director of Recreation Brad Wilson said a total of 11,500 square feet of space would be used by the Park District in the building and that new programs would include the use of a wood floor dance studio that would also be used for fitness classes.
Beginning this January, other programs will include sewing and cooking classes, dance, yoga, pilates, gymnastics, arts and crafts, computer programs, knitting, and weight loss classes.
“We have a three-year lease agreement with an option for two additional one-year leases, and we’ve completed a bit of a build out, which included removing some classroom walls in order to create more space,” Wilson said. “We’ve been looking to add space here in south Naperville and believe we’re going to have a lot of participants.”
McGury praised building owners and said the agreement was the first of its kind where a public and private partnership was forged.
“The Fry owners here are very successful and know their business, and so many other groups spend a year or more trying to come up with a plan,” he said. “I’ve known the owners for some time, and we were able to work out an agreement in just a couple of months. Now it’s up to us to make this a success.”
Wilson said a new six-station culinary arts program was another feature of the space that officials expect will be popular, and many of those who came Saturday said that learning to cook was on the top of their list.
Eugenia Mindlin of Naperville hopes to tweak her cooking skills in the kitchen.
“My husband and I have been taking classes to learn how to play bridge but we’re interested in the culinary arts program here as well as the exercise programs,” she said. “I think this facility is needed as there are an awful lot of young children growing up in this area. We know that because we saw so many of them this year for Halloween.”
Bob and Mary Misevich of Naperville said they have been enjoying the Park District’s movie offerings in the downtown facility and are glad to now have a facility closer to home.
“We like to take advantage of whatever is going on from horseback riding for the grandkids to the Easter egg hunt the Park District offers,” Bob Misevich said. “I feel like the Park District is one of the city’s best amenities.”