Construction on River Forest Park District’s Metra depot headquarters started Jan. 24 and, if all goes well, will be finished by June 1, in time for the district’s slate of summer programming, said Michael Sletten, executive director. 

“The original building’s offices were scattered all over different spaces, and so we’ll be consolidating offices in a secure space on the top floor,” Sletten said. “The lower level will be two larger program rooms that will allow us to offer so more adult programming and so then we can expand our summer camp program, which is a big thing since that is always packed.”

The Park District Board of Commissioners budgeted $782,056 for renovations to The Depot, 401 Thatcher Ave. Construction Solutions of Illinois is the general contractor for the project, and FGM Architects is the architect. The park district has built in a $50,000 contingency, in case of unforeseen cost overruns.  

Planned renovations include a redesigned first-floor, which will free up more space for activities, including a 750-square-foot programming space. There will be a revamped lobby as well. The building will also be ADA-accessible. 

Park district staff moved out of The Depot just before Christmas, and have temporarily relocated to an apartment building across the parking lot from their old HQ. 

Nona Tepper

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