This is huge. The Park District of Forest Park has secured $2.5 million from the state of Illinois: a significant chunk of the cost of the park’s new recreation center on the Roos building site.

A state-of-the-art new parks project will be the crown jewel of Forest Park, boosting home values, and drawing participants from all over the region.

 Add that to the $2.3 million the state has provided for a Roosevelt Road facelift and we’re talking a significant investment in Forest Park by the state of Illinois. 

Thanks Gov. Quinn. 

The Roos project has been a long, steady journey from 2009 to now, fraught with  twists and turns. 

The building was for sale. Then it wasn’t. It was going to be repurposed into a rec center. Then it couldn’t be. Walls started collapsing, tear it down! Industrial contaminants in the soil were found –a way was found to pay for the most complete cleanup. 

With a park board that has maintained clear focus over several election cycles and the leadership of Executive Director Larry Piekarz, the project is finally on its way to fruition. 

Voters who put their faith in a referendum four years ago will finally see their tax dollars used in a way that children and grandchildren will appreciate in the future.  

No doubt the grant funders took many things into consideration: The park’s strong partnership with West Suburban Special Recreational Association and dedicated space for WSSRA activities, the park’s Friday partnership with the District 91 preschool program, the current lack of organized sports and activities for teenagers – so visibly and ably championed by our youngest commissioner Matt Walsh. The grant also had strong support from local pols plugging for the project, including 7th District State Rep Chris Welch and State Sen. Kimberly Lightford. 

Great teamwork and vision by some hard working Forest Parkers.

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