Groundbreaking held for Oak Park gymnastics center

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

After six years of public hearings, renderings, cost estimates and approvals, staff from the Park District of Oak Park gathered Thursday night to celebrate the official groundbreaking for what will be a new gymnastics center on Lake Street.

Approximately 80 people attended the ceremony, despite windy and rainy weather, including a group of kids and their parents who are part of the park district's gymnastics program. They'll be among the first to take advantage of the Park District of Oak Park Gymnastics & Recreation Center when it opens in the fall of 2013.

A bid late last month from the contractor, Henry Brothers, came in just below $4.2 million, but there will be additional costs for other work done.

"We're finally ready to break some ground," Park board President Christine Graves told the gymnastics participants, who chatted with each other in excitement. Afterwards, park staff posed for photos wearing hard hats and hoisting shovels and families headed to the Stevenson Center for refreshments to celebrate.

Graves said the facility would always be used for gymnastics, but there will also be two new multipurpose rooms for possible dance and martial arts classes. The new facility will let staff accommodate the wait-list with room to expand.

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