Watch the brief video above for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, with answers provided by Northbrook Park District staff members.

Project FAQs

We have heard from several members of the community regarding the Northbrook Sports Center construction project. Below are responses to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Why is this project needed?

Although the District has a robust maintenance schedule, some parts of the building have existed since original construction in 1968, while other areas of the building are past their useful life.

What are the project dates?

The Northbrook Sports Center will be closed May 9 through September. The Sports Center Pool will not open in 2021.

Why wasn’t the project completed during closures in 2020?

Architectural planning, engineering, construction documents, Village permits and bid documents had not yet been completed when we closed for the stay at home order in March. These sequential steps usually take nine to twelve months to complete and were ongoing in 2020. The board approved the project in February 2021, in keeping with the original project schedule.

Why can’t the pool open while construction is taking place in the building?

  • The pool cannot be open while the property is a construction site.
  • Pool heaters and circulation equipment will be inoperable due to electric and gas service interruptions.
  • Equipment including cranes, dumpsters and trucks will be coming and going through the parking lots throughout the project.

Why can’t the project start after the summer season?

The District has one ice center and two pools. The strategic decision was made to close the building and one pool during the indoor ice off-season, with aquatics needs being met for the community at Meadowhill Aquatic Center.

Why can’t the District wait until next year to do this project?

At this time, the roof is leaking in common areas, ice rinks and office spaces. In addition, the Turner Building Index, which estimates the escalation rate for construction costs, has averaged approximately 4.2% over the last four years. This represents approximate savings of $220,000 which can then be used for other District projects.

How can the pool users from two pools fit at one pool this summer?

Staff looked at the data and attendance records from past seasons. With current capacity guidelines, it is anticipated that Meadowhill Aquatic Center can accommodate typical pool use from both pools this summer.

Click here for more information on Meadowhill Aquatic Center.

What does the project include?

The project includes:

  • A new roof incorporating added insulation and a reflective surface
  • Replacement of all metal panels and installation of additional insulation on the north and west exterior walls
  • Replacement of several HVAC units, a new evaporative condenser needed to make ice, ice mechanicals and pumps (sub-floor pump, snowmelt pump, three glycol pumps) compressor motor and soft starter
  • Resurfacing the parking lots on the south and west sides of the building
  • Improved drainage
  • Installation of energy-efficient LED lights in the west parking lot and fixtures on the outside of the building on the west side along with new LED fixtures above all entrances
  • Painting of both ice rink floors and correcting flaking paint on ceilings in both rinks
  • Sealing of former window and venting areas which will also lead to a more efficient building seal and increased energy savings
  • Upgraded life safety features including the fire alarm system and replacement of the emergency generator

How can I find out about upcoming board decisions before they are made?

Agendas for Board and Committee Meetings are posted prior to each meeting, following Open Meetings Act requirements. Members of the public are invited to attend meetings and provide their input during Public Comments. For more information, visit nbparks.org/board-of-commissioners-and-board-meetings.

What about our children who deserve a break after a year of the pandemic?

We agree and fully understand that this year has been difficult. We opened our parks as soon as we could and were thrilled to see the high levels of participation in our open spaces and on our trails. By offering virtual programming along with in-person options following ever-changing guidelines, staff brought performing arts, athletics, golf, outdoor events, skating, hockey, and other recreation opportunities to the Northbrook community all year long.

What about all the kids who would have worked as lifeguards at Sports Center Pool?

The District is currently hiring lifeguards for the Meadowhill Aquatic Center. Those interested in applying should visit nbparks.org/about/jobs.

Why can’t we have a reciprocal agreement with Glencoe Park District’s Glencoe Beach?

A joint decision was made by both districts, prior to the finalization of the construction schedule, that each district wanted to best serve their own residents during the pandemic and therefore would not offer special rates to non-residents in 2021. Non-resident beach pass sales begin March 30, visit glencoeparkdistrict.com/Facilities/Glencoe-Beach for more information.

Why wasn’t the public given the opportunity to provide input for this project?

The Park District has a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that is evaluated and reprioritized annually and presented to the Board of Commissioners. Staff presents projects that are part of the CIP to the Board throughout the year, public bidding takes place and bids are approved by the Board.  This process takes place during Board Meetings which are open to the public. The Sports Center roof renovation has been scheduled for planning and has been listed in the CIP since 2015.  For more information on Board Meetings, visit nbparks.org/about/board-of-commissioners-and-board-meetings.

The need for extensive renovations and replacements at Northbrook Sports Center was identified during the assessment phase of the Comprehensive Mater Plan (CMP). Information for the CMP was gathered through a variety of sources including an online community survey, a statistically valid mailed survey and stakeholder meetings. The planning process produced eight action goals supported by the findings in the community survey.

Goal #2: Maintain and update existing assets to provide quality parks, facilities, and trails that are attractive, safe, accessible, and compliant with codes and standards. One of the strategies of this goal is to update the District’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to prioritize park and facility renovations, redevelopments, and replacements. One-third of the respondents indicted upgrading indoor programming spaces was a priority.

Northbrook Sports Center – Project Update | February 2021

The Northbrook Park District continues to strategically address the Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) entitled Moving Forward 2026. This strategic planning process from 2016, which included a community survey, stakeholder meetings and physical assessment of facilities, identified the District’s major priorities for the ten years from 2017 to 2026.  The CMP guides the Park District through goals in developing an annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) which aligns a long-term strategy for stewardship with meeting the needs of the residents.

In Spring 2021, the Northbrook Park District will continue to address one of the identified goals of the CMP – to maintain and update existing assets to provide quality parks, facilities and trails that are attractive, safe, accessible and compliant with codes and standards – by prioritizing the Northbrook Sports Center’s infrastructure. Though a robust preventative maintenance plan has extended the life of the HVAC units and roof past their normally expected life cycle, this Northbrook Sports Center project is a priority to meet the needs of the District’s most highly used indoor amenity.

While the project follows the District’s mission to act as responsible stewards of physical assets, the following enhancements will also have a positive impact on user groups including an improved environment to maintain ice conditions, better rink color contrast for hockey players and safety improvements throughout the building.

  • A new roof incorporating added insulation and a white reflective surface
  • Replacement of all metal panels and installation of additional insulation on the north and west exterior walls
  • Replacement of several HVAC units, a new evaporative condenser needed to make ice, ice mechanicals and pumps (sub-floor pump, snowmelt pump, three glycol pumps) compressor motor and soft starter
  • Resurfacing the parking lots on the south and west sides of the building
  • Improved drainage
  • Installation of energy-efficient LED lights in the west parking lot and fixtures on the outside of the building on the west side along with new LED fixtures above all entrances
  • Painting of both ice rink floors and correcting flaking paint on ceilings in both rinks
  • Sealing of former window and venting areas which will also lead to a more efficient building seal and increased energy savings
  • Upgraded life safety features including the fire alarm system and replacement of the emergency generator

To accommodate this project, the Northbrook Sports Center ice rinks and swimming pool will be closed from May 9 through September. While a difficult decision to make, these closures will support the completion of the project in the most efficient manner and within the allocated budget of $5.3 million.