By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
Rosemont Park District Board of Commissioners President Richard V. Drehobl announced yesterday (Tuesday) that the new Dunne Park Recreation Center on Glenlake Street will open to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
“It looks fabulous and is ready to go. With so many kids out of school for the Veterans Day holiday Friday we thought it would be a good day to have a soft opening,” Drehobl said during the monthly park district board of commissioners meeting Tuesday. “We’ll have a larger, grand opening at a later date, but as of Friday, Dunne Park Recreation Center will be now open to residents and guests alike.”
The newly constructed recreation center at 9401-9499 Glenlake St., south of Higgins Road and west of River Road, was recently completed. It is estimated to have cost the village $3,551,083 and includes a gymnasium the size of the existing gym at the Rosemont Recreation Center on Barry Street. Construction began last spring.
Rosemont Park District Program Director Omar Camarillo said the recreation center will open at 10 a.m. Friday, but after that the hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Following the park board meeting, staff developed communications about Friday’s opening to be sent to Rosemont School and local residents. "We should have the word out today," Camarillo said.
“The location of the new center is great for all the kids and people that live in the immediate area,” Rosemont Park District Executive Director Karen Stephens said Tuesday.
Camarillo said visitors dropping by Dunne on Friday will find a full-sized gym, supplies to play soccer, floor hockey, dodgeball and more. A new game room is set to open by the end of the year. Staff is awaiting the arrival of new games to be installed in the room. Once that’s done, it will open to visitors.
The rec center will be fully staffed.
“We’ve hired six or seven part-time employees to man the new recreation center,” Camarillo said. “They will be manning the front desk, the gym and more. There will be a monitor at all times in the gym.
“It’s pretty exciting. I feel the same way now as when we opened the Barry Street recreation center. That was in early 2004, I believe, and it was great to have a new rec center in the immediate neighborhood. That’s what we’re doing here.”
Just beyond the entrance desk in the new center is a connecting hallway to the existing older “warming house”, a small structure used by ice skaters skating on the adjacent pond, which is still the same.
The new center stands next to an estimated 160 condominiums and many six-flat homes.
It was also announced at the park board meeting that there will be a 5 p.m. public hearing Monday, Nov. 28 at Margaret Lange Park to approve a proposed property tax levy for the Rosemont Park District. Officials said the proposed corporate and special purpose property taxes to be levied for 2016, and collected in 2017, are $1,536,083, a .070% increase over the previous year.
Additionally, to help keep geese away from the Dunne Park Recreation Center area, the board agreed to purchase a new geese control light for $356. The light flickers and, officials said, bothers geese while they are sleeping, causing them to leave the area. The light does not affect swans, park officials said.