Lights, heat and water are running at the new Roos Recreation Center, which has seen a spike in construction activity over the past few weeks as Park District of Forest Park officials ready the new fitness and community center for its grand opening on May 26.  

“Now we’re learning how to work everything,” said Rachell Entler, who is the park recreation and marketing supervisor as well as a village commissioner. 

The staff is learning how to work the electric and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system that was recently installed in Roos. 

In April, furniture will be added to the new fitness and community center. Entler said she will purchase outdoor signage from Roberta Signs on Desplaines Avenue, appliances from Grand Appliance on Madison Street and fitness equipment from Fitness Factory Outlet on Desplaines Avenue. “Everything’s local,” she said. Computers will be added to the front desk, where Roos members can access their ActivTrax personalized personal training program to keep track of their workout. ActivTrax comes free to all fitness center members. 

The construction crew has almost finished laying the wood floor in the main gym area, and workers will focus on staining, varnishing and painting basketball and walking track lines in the main gym in the coming weeks. Scoreboards are also up in the main gym, and the crew will soon add cages to protect scorekeepers. 

The multipurpose room is nearly done, with sinks installed and ready for young ones from the park district’s preschool program to use every Monday. 

After having to cancel their job fair on Feb. 10 due to snow, the Park District of Forest Park is also accepting applications for part-time staffers for the new Roos Center. Interested applicants can learn more about the positions and submit applications at the front desk at the Park District Headquarters. 

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (D-1st) also handed park district officials a huge, $100,000 check on Feb. 24, and the money will be used to create a bike and walking path from the Harlem Blue Line el station on Circle Avenue to Desplaines Avenue. Officials are also looking at widening the existing path that connects Roos and the park district, to make it ADA-accessible, and building a bicycle repair station outside the new center.