Oswegoland Park District plans new administration, operations buildings

By Jack McCarthy Chronicle Media

Rendering of a planned new Oswegoland Park District administration building. (Oswegoland Park District illustration)

The Oswegoland Park District has a full plate of projects for 2024, but none as critical as construction of a new administration and operations center.

Officials at the sprawling 38-square-mile district plan to demolish a 50-year-old, 14,453-square-foot Prairie Point Center and replace it with a smaller, but more efficient 11,000-square-foot nerve center for offices. A separate 15,000-square-foot maintenance and operations building with expanded parking is also on the drawing boards.

The site of current and future buildings are located at the intersection of Grove Road and Washington Street.

“Consultants found that renovating the aging Prairie Point facility to meet the district’s current and future needs would not be a significant saving over a complete site development,” according to a district summary. “The new administration and operations buildings will provide staff with the space and technology needs to deliver high-quality recreational services to the growing Oswegoland community.”

Demolition is expected to begin this spring or summer, followed by construction and an anticipated opening in fall 2025.

The district, established in 1950, serves around 20,000 residents in an area that includes all the Village of Oswego and Boulder Hill, unincorporated Oswego Township plus portions of Montgomery, Aurora and Plainfield as well as a small piece of Will County.

The district has 66 parks, 35 playgrounds and more than 1,290 acres of open space. Among other features are a historical museum, a conventional 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, a disc golf course, two skate parks and two swimming pools.

It is also custodian of local bike and recreation trails along the region’s crown jewel — the Fox River — and oversees the yearly Prairiefest community festival each June.

The Prairie Point building opened in 1974 as a John Deere dealership and was acquired by the Park District in the mid-1980s.

A recent consultant’s survey of the property gave it a D-minus grade, with F classifications for heating/air-conditioning systems, electrical, security alarm and handicapped access.

Project costs are estimated at $14.3 million, with funding from reserves, accumulated capital resources and non-referendum bonds. Property taxes would not be affected.

Facility and/or property improvements are also planned at the district’s Civic Center, South Point, Boulder Point and Fox Bend Golf Course. Seven parks are slated for improvements and/or new equipment while a bike trail rest area is planned along Illinois Route 25.

Most staffers currently using Prairie Point will relocate to other current facilities or rented office space. The district will also lease Montgomery’s former Public Works building on Knell Road for 18 months at a cost of more than $100,000 for the first year.

Montgomery opened a new Public Works facility nearby in 2023, leaving the former 9,400-square-foot facility vacant.