Plans for Romeoville's Athletic and Event Center Starting to Take Shape
The Village Board heard an update to the downtown's new Athletic Center Wednesday and honored outgoing Assistant Police Chief Larry Vinson.
The first phase of demolition of the former Jewel-Osco and Ace Hardware store in the Spartans Square shopping center is complete, and Romeoville officials are moving ahead on plans for the new Athletic and Event Center in the downtown redevelopment plan.
Village officials are predicting the new Athletic and Event Center will be completed this December.
At Wednesday’s Romeoville Village Board meeting, community development director Steve Rockwell gave the board an update of the new center, which includes a 52,578-square-foot first floor and a 7,091-square foot mezzanine.
One alternative is to add basketball courts with an additional 17,123 square feet of recreational space.
The first floor will consist of two multipurpose rooms that hold 40 people each as well as an indoor soccer field. The mezzanine will have moveable spectator seating for 180 people and two multipurpose rooms for 100 people.
The alternative plan will include two IHSA regulation basketball courts or four IHSA regulation volleyball courts.
The Athletic and Event Center is being billed as a centerpiece in the downtown redevelopment initiative to draw people to the area. The village is also being flexible on how the retail space is going to be developed, and is working to attract a grocery store to the area, village manager Steve Gulden said.
“Everywhere you go in town, you run into people interested in this project,” Trustee Dave Richards said.
The downtown redevelopment project is being funded through the creation of a tax increment financing district, in which the increased value of the property within the TIF district is used to pay for improvements to that district.
In other news, the village board on Wednesday honored Assistant Police Chief Larry Vinson on his retirement.
Vinson, who rose through the ranks, started as a patrol officer with the Romeoville Police Department in 1981.
Chief Mark Turvey said the police department benefited from Vinson’s “ethics, integrity, knowledge, skill and professionalism” and thanked him for his 32 years of service.
The village board on Wednesday also approved a resolution supporting the Community Service Council of Northern Will County, which plans to apply for a portion of settlement money from the Illinois Attorney General’s office to buy and rehab foreclosed homes.
The Community Service Council is hoping to receive a portion of a state settlement agreement from major banks to buy about 150 foreclosed homes in Romeoville, Plainfield and Bolingbrook and remodel them so they are inhabitable again, said Robert Kalnicky, the group’s executive director.
The group will also counsel potential homeowners on how to buy, budget and manage a home in order to help promote home ownership and decrease the number of vacant houses, he said.
Finally, the village board on Wednesday removed from its agenda an ordinance to update its procedures for public hearings and petitions from the public.