As a parent of a child who is enrolled at the Park District of Oak Park gymnastics center, I am thrilled to hear about the opportunity for them to move across the street to a brand new facility that would accommodate their current needs, but more importantly, accommodate their growing future needs [Park District of Oak Park plans for new gymnastics space on Madison, News, Sept. 15].
Every time I’m there I see all these wonderful pictures of the team at competitions, and none of them are at home, due to space restrictions.
I think Gary Balling and the park district have done a fabulous job in planning out and executing the park district’s capital-improvement plans, as witnessed by the wonderful updates and overhauls of many park facilities including Anderson, Fox, Carroll, Longfellow and Field parks, as well as current projects underway at Euclid and Maple parks and the conservatory. It seems that the gymnastics center would be no different.
The plan is a win-win for the community as well as the new development on Madison. It gives the residents a brand new, state-of-the-art gymnastics center, but at the same time, doing it while being prudent and responsible with taxpayer dollars.
I think buying the space versus renting or leasing makes all that much more sense so as to not have to face rent increases down the road.
It is an extra bonus to know that the gymnastics programs are self-sufficient and do not rely on any other funding from outside their own programs. Maybe more space will alleviate the need for all the waiting lists that are currently in place, and generate more revenue at the same time.
I believe my child, along with the hundreds of other children who utilize the gymnastics center every week, are the real winners.
J. Martin Konecki