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Government Local

DeKalb park board plans for Hopkins Pool rebuild

DeKALB – Residents will soon be paying more for some park district services, while park officials are
setting aside money for
an anticipated $5 million loan to renovate Hopkins Pool.

For months, DeKalb park commissioners discussed renovating Hopkins Pool. The plans have not been finalized, but the park district is planning to borrow $5 million for the project and repay it using existing revenue sources.

As outlined in the fiscal 2014 budget the park
commissioners approved Thursday, the district is allocating $390,000 for next year’s loan payment. Executive Director Cindy Capek said PHN Architects, the firm hired to design the new pool, presented some modifications to the board Thursday night.

“We changed some things, like the entrance of the main pool, broadening the base of deeper surface water,” Capek said. “Nothing major, just tweaking the schematic plans.”

Beginning in the fall, fees for indoor soccer teams and people who want to rent the field house will rise. Soccer teams, which used to pay $300, will pay $350 a team, while field house rentals will cost $140 an hour, up from $125 an hour.

Fitness passholders already saw their annual pass increase from $5 to $20. The pass allows a year of free access to Haish Gym Fitness Center, open gym and the indoor walk program at the Sports and Recreation Center. Fees at the park district’s open gym also were increased as well.

Capek said no one spoke at Thursday’s budget hearing, and there were no public comments received by phone or email.

Thursday’s meeting also featured updates on the park district’s ability to acquire Kiwanis Park from DeKalb School District 428. Park district leaders pursued the purchase after public outcry caused the school district to abandon plans last year to transfer it to ShoDeen Construction as part of a larger land swap deal.

Capek said they will have more information in April about the cost to purchase the park.

“It’s premature to state the amount because we haven’t signed any contract yet,” Capek said. “We don’t see [the cost] to be an issue. ... It will be a good thing for the community.”

Next month, park commissioners also will hear a solid plan for restoring the Nature Trail, which saw ComEd clear-cutting the trees along it last year. Capek said the plan will focus on what will be planted there, and not the cost.

“We’re looking at quantities of material right now,” Capek said. “We don’t have dollar amounts related to it yet.”

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