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Village Board Hires Contractors for New Center

Plans moved forward Wednesday on the proposed athletic and events complex and the Sam's Club warehouse store, for which economic incentives were approved.

Site work may begin as early as next month on Romeoville’s new athletic and events community center, which figures to be a prominent piece in the village’s downtown redevelopment initiative.

The Romeoville Village Board on Wednesday hired Harbour Contractors Inc. as the construction manager for the new 66,000-square-foot community center that will include an open space design to house indoor baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

The space will also be flexible to accommodate such events as home or boat shows or seasonal festivals, village officials said.

The center, which is budgeted for $8 million, will be located at Town Hall Drive and Phelps Avenue and is one piece of the downtown redevelopment plan. The concept plan for the downtown includes a 20,000-square-foot grocery store and three other outlots of about 5,000 square feet each. Nearby is the recently remodeled White Oak Public Library.

Romeoville Mayor John Noak said the community center will complement and not compete with the village’s Recreation Center, 900 W. Romeo Road. The village has an opportunity to expand its recreational offerings, relieve pressure on the recreation center’s more popular offerings and create a new community space that will also be pedestrian-friendly, Noak said.

The exact cost of the building has not yet been determined. If the bids come in under budget, two traditional gymnasiums to house basketball and volleyball may be built.

Harbour Contractors Inc. will be paid 4.25 percent of the construction costs as well as $14,000 a month for five months for preconstruction services. Incentives will be offered to Harbour Contractors for coming in under-budget and finding cost-savings measures.

Construction on the new athletic and events center is expected to take about a year.

In other news, the village board on Wednesday approved a $4.5 million economic incentive package for Sam’s Club to build a membership warehouse store in the village.

Sam’s Club is planning a 138,445-square-foot store and gas station on more than 13 acres of vacant land on Weber Road in the Romeoville Crossings commercial area just south of Wal-Mart.

The village is offering Sam’s Club a sales tax reimbursement incentive capped at $4.5 million, according to village documents. The sales tax reimbursement incentive will be paid at either $400,000 per year or 50 percent of all the retailer’s occupation tax, whichever is less.

The Sam’s Club is expected to generate about 200 new jobs and may help spur additional economic development in the region, village officials have said. Site work is expected to begin this fall, and construction should take about nine months to complete.

Finally, the village board approved signs prohibiting left turns when entering or exiting Irene King Elementary School, 301 Eaton Avenue, to ease traffic flow into and out of the school.

Drivers leaving the school’s east parking lot are prohibited from turning left onto Murphy Drive, and drivers on Murphy Drive will be prohibited from turning left into the east parking lot.

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