On Monday, April 10, Harper College hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Health and Recreation Center, which is a $38 million renovation and addition to the Wellness and Sports Center (otherwise known as Building M). This project will transform the facility into a leading-edge community health and recreation center for Palatine scheduled to open in fall of 2018.
“We had an aging facility and in that facility we had a pool that was literally operating with band-aids,” said Dr. Kenneth Ender, President of Harper College, at the ceremony on Monday. “It was a pool that, truth be told, Harper had very little, if any, use of or interest in.”
The true community need for this indoor pool was made clear when Dr. Ender began a discussion with Palatine Park District Executive Director Mike Clark back in 2013. After years of discussion, research, and planning, a partnership was formed between Harper College, Northwest Community Healthcare, and Palatine Park District.
“I think it’s a great model for intergovernmental cooperation and to do it in a fiscally responsible way,” said Clark at the ceremony. “The more we talked about this, the more the partnership made sense. [Harper] students would use the facility during the day, and a lot of what we do is done on evenings and weekends. And so even the user groups become very complimentary to fully utilize this facility throughout the day.”
In the intergovernmental agreement, the Park District will contribute $9 million toward the renovation and once completed pay a portion of the facility operating cost, run indoor pool operations, and offer adult fitness and recreation classes.
“The project means a lot to Palatine Park District,” Clark continued. “In our latest community-wide needs assessment, the top three recreational indoor amenities that our residents ranked was an indoor aquatics facility, a fitness center, and space for group fitness. With this facility, we hit the trifecta.”
In Mike Clark’s closing remarks, he expressed his excitement for this partnership with Harper College and Northwest Community Healthcare, and that Park District looks forward to much success in providing great memories and opportunities for all residents in both the Harper and Palatine community.Back to Home