The park district recently applied for a state grant that could potentially cover 75 percent of the cost of a small gym that the park already intended to build on its property.
The latest referendum, which was approved by taxpayers, asked residents to cover funds for the Roos building, as well as plans for this gym. But if the park district receives a grant through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, then more of the referendum money will be available for the Roos project.
“That would mean we would have more money toward the Roos when we get the Roos,” said Larry Piekarz, park district executive director. “Any money we get from the state would be a savings to the taxpayers.”
Right now, the only gyms in the community are located in the schools.
As for the Roos building, negotiations are still underway to acquire the property, Piekarz said.
The building itself is somewhat more secure after maintenance work was completed by the receiver, Rally Capital, last month, according to Steve Glinke, fire chief and head of the Department of Public Health and Safety.
“They boarded it up, cleared all the debris from the site; they secured the property and
did some rodent control,” Glinke said. “They accomplished that fairly quickly.”
Even so, it was apparent that someone trespassed within the past week as new yellow graffiti was found on the third floor of the building.
Glinke continues to levy fines on the building on a daily basis, though the number of citations dropped from 11 tickets a day to three. The remaining violations are related to the failing roof and the unsupported wall on the north end of the building.
He is still waiting for a response regarding the receiver’s intent to hire a structural engineer, one of the safety requirements needed to assess the soundness of the building. A representative of Rally Capital could not be reached.
In the park district’s plan for the property, two-thirds of the building, including the troublesome north side wall, will be torn down, Piekarz said.
“That wall has gotten progressively worse,” he said. “That part is coming down anyway.”