July 15, 2019 at 5:27pm

Setting sights on a future of active play, health and fitness for the community, Northbrook Park District officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, July 10 for the new Activity Center at Techny Prairie Park and Fields.

Incorporating the Northbrook Park District’s Mission of environmental stewardship, the Activity Center will be constructed as a Net Zero Energy Building—a highly energy efficient facility that will create as much renewable energy as the building consumes. The Activity Center is part of the 2018-2022: New Places to Play initiative, which is based on resident input and aligns with the District’s 10-year Comprehensive Master Plan.

Designed by Darien-based Wight & Company, the 44,200 square foot building will feature space for fitness and wellness—including an indoor walking and running track, a gymnasium for pickleball, basketball, camps and other activities and multipurpose rooms.

“This Activity Center will provide our residents with a new method to play and stay fit.” Northbrook Park District Board President Penelope Randel said at the groundbreaking. “And with the Net Zero designation, this Activity Center will be recognized not only for the Park District’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship but our visionary thinking which will impact future generations.”

Randel outlined the history of the site where the Activity Center will be built—adjacent to Anetsberger Golf Course, 1750 Techny Road. The District purchased the six-acre parcel in 2011.
“There has been tremendous dedication and time on the part of the Board—both current and previous Commissioners, staff, our architects and construction managers to make today a reality,” Randel said. “We all share a common vision.”

Executive Director Molly Hamer said the Activity Center will offer multigenerational opportunities for the community to play and relax.

“I am excited to have you all on this journey as we build a place where the community can become healthier and happier through exercise, recreation and spending time with family,” Hamer said. “While the building is not yet standing, envision a space where friendships are made, hobbies discovered and personal goals achieved. This will be an exciting and active space, a place to unwind and connect with others.”

Cost of the project is $16 million and will be funded with reserves and bond issue.

Membership and program information will be available in July 2020. Construction on the Activity Center is expected to be complete in early 2021. For more information, click here.