Wilmette Park District
Board Brief
Highlights from the June 27 Committee of the Whole Meeting, and the July 11 Regular Monthly Meeting of the Wilmette Park District Board of Park Commissioners
The Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners and Wilmette Park District staff extend our love and support to the entire community of Highland Park, and our gratitude to the brave men and women of law enforcement for their tremendous response on July 4, and their commitment to our safety every day.
First Committee of the Whole Meeting Held

On Monday, June 27, the Wilmette Board of Park Commissioners held its first Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting at the Community Recreation Center. The Board, Wilmette Park District superintendents and managers, and visitors from our community participated in the meeting, which covered proposed and ongoing projects and operational updates. For details about the new Committee of the Whole meeting structure, click here.
Projects Categorized by Phase

At the COW meeting, the Board introduced a new, four-phase process that organizes all projects into status categories. The categories are:
Defining Phase
Planning Phase
Execution Phase
Completion Phase
To read detailed descriptions of each project phase, view the June 27 Committee of the Whole meeting agenda here
Project Status Updates

Projects in the DEFINING PHASE:

  • Consideration of pickleball courts – discussion deferred

  • Consideration of Wallace Bowl restoration – discussed; consideration deferred
Projects in the PLANNING PHASE:

  • Langdon Shoreline Protection Project- at the June 27 COW meeting, the Board received an update from SmithGroup Senior Waterfront Engineer Mark Wagstaff on the essential Shoreline Protection Project, as well as how to make the area safer and more accessible to residents. The update focused on stair design, and construction specifics such as material type. After reviewing recommendations for material type and landscaping options, Commissioners weighed in with their questions and concerns, and then agreed that SmithGroup should move forward. Mr. Wagstaff further advised that the Park District could go out to bid as early as next month, with construction beginning this fall. View the presentation here.

  • Gillson Park Comprehensive Plan- Park District staff are taking more time to develop a new community survey, to allow for historical research to be conducted regarding the design of the park. The survey will be made available for public input in the coming weeks.

  • Keay Nature Center Renovation- the Board has discussed proposed path improvements, accessibility, and the creation of nature play spaces, while prioritizing preservation of the character of the park. Upland Design created a diagram to facilitate the bid process. To see the diagram, click here. The diagram identifies "bump-out" locations for where the nature play spaces would be. Superintendent of Parks and Planning Kristi Solberg suggested that these nature play spaces could include a stepping log path, a log table with chairs, climbable trees, a log balance beam or a tunnel made out of a tree trunk. Materials for the play spaces would be sourced from diseased trees within the Park District, such as the cottonwood tree recently removed in Gillson Park. Utilizing these materials is environmentally sustainable, and will result in a cost savings to the Park District. Additionally, there will be a ten-foot turf stone path at both entrances for essential maintenance, and permeable brick pavers in various spots adjacent to the path. Current projections have the project complete this fall.

  • West Park and Platform Tennis Club Enhancements- A landscape designer from Upland Design walked the Board through a proposed landscape plan at the June 27 COW meeting. View the landscape plan here. •• Park District staff are actively working to implement Special Use Permit conditions from the Village of Wilmette. In June, Platform Tennis Club members received information regarding updated guidelines for behavior and conduct, and additional communication is planned prior to fall league season; related behavioral signage for the facility is in development. •• Shields have been installed on the platform tennis court lights •• Engineers have designed a system for vacancy sensors, to meet the light requirements expressed in the Village’s ordinance.

  • Wilmette Park District Comprehensive and Strategic Plan- The Board has selected communications firm PCI to ensure thorough community engagement and communication throughout the planning process.
Projects in the EXECUTION PHASE:

  • Lakeview Center Renovation- at the July 11 Regular Meeting, the Board discussed a bid recommendation letter and related visuals from Frederick Quinn Construction. The Board extensively examined and discussed the bid: the current estimate is higher than it was 12 months ago, and all agreed that the increase was disappointing, yet understandable considering rising construction costs. Value engineering efforts provided different options for how to proceed. Board President Mike Murdock led the Board discussion, acknowledging that renovations are needed and will be enjoyed by the next generation, and in line with Park District staff, recommended approval of the whole project, citing available funds due to the delay in Pickleball court installation. After a thoughtful discussion, the Board voted in favor of moving forward with the project as originally designed (Commissioner Lindsay Anderson not in attendance and Clarke dissenting). The vote clears the path to start renovation work right after Labor Day.

  • Maple Park Playground- Work is progressing. During an inspection of the playground, it was discovered that the aggregate infill was not deep enough; staff worked with the architect and the Village to develop a new plan for the subbase material. Work resumed the week of July 5 and the playground should be substantially complete by the end of this month.

  • Community Playfields Bathroom Project/Water Fountains- Limited availability of required steel pipes has significantly delayed the production timeline for new water fountains at Community Playfields. Superintendent Solberg has been working with Wilmette School District 39 to install drinking fountains with bottle fillers on the exterior of both Highcrest and Wilmette Junior High School buildings, but has not yet received an approval from the school. •• The Community Playfields bathroom concrete has cured, backfilling around the foundation is complete, and rough-in plumbing will begin the week of July 11.

  • Golf Club Grille Room Renovation- The bar and a new door have been installed. and flooring in the restaurant and adjacent hallways is being installed this week. The Lawn anticipates an August opening.
Around the Park District

  • The final phase of the Village Stormwater Project began on Tuesday, May 31. As a result of this work, the Village has shut down some lanes in the area between Lake Ave. And Hunter Rd.

  • Thornwood Park outdoor and Wilmette Tennis Club indoor court resurfacing projects opened for bid on July 14.

  • Our Parks Team is working to beautify our parks by planting flowers around Gillson Park, the Community Recreation Center, and in other pots around town.

  • Staff have been walking our garden plots every other week, to ensure users are compliant with Park District guidelines. This is gradually lowering the waitlist for plots, and alleviating some of the frustration users may have been experiencing.

  • In the coming weeks, our Parks Team will begin implementing Landscape plans for Centennial, Hibbard and Vattmann parks.

  • We recently worked with a contractor to complete an emergency sewer repair in Gillson Park.

  • At the Community Recreation Center, our Building Team replaced the awning over the north door. •• They're working with a contractor to repair concrete soffits on the building as well. •• and, they finished LED light retrofitting of the 32 Community Recreation Center parking lot lights, bringing wattage down from 5,600 to 1,440: a savings of 4,160 watts. •• Also, 52 fluorescent fixtures at the CRC have been converted to LED: a reduction from 6,656 to 2,080 watts for a savings of 4,576 watts.

  • Our Building Team worked with a contractor to install new carpet in the Golf Shop.

  • Setup and takedown for the July 3 Fun and Fireworks event at Gillson park was a huge feat for the entire crew, and included installation of 450 feet of temporary overhead power lines for the food vendors and installation of overhead LED lights within the tents.

  • Our Building Team installed cell phone lockers at Center Fitness Club.

  • More LED light upgrades: we replaced 24 fluorescent lights over the Centennial Ice Rink benches, which brings the entire ice rink LED-lit.

  • Note the change in the Board's October Regular Monthly meeting date from Friday, October 14 to Monday, October 17.
To view Agendas and Minutes from our past Board meetings, click here. Minutes are posted after they are approved the following month, at a subsequent meeting. 
Next Committee of the Whole meeting: Monday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m., location to be announced shortly.
Next Regular Monthly Board meeting: Monday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall at 1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette.

All meetings are open to the public. Details are posted on the Park Board page on our website.
Meetings will be available on Channel 6 locally for Comcast subscribers. View a live meeting online here, or view previous meeting recordings here. Please check our website often for updates.
Board of Park Commissioners

Mike Murdock

Kara Kosloskus
Vice President
Lindsay Anderson

Cecilia Clarke

Patrick Duffy

Allison Frazier

Julia Goebel
Wilmette Park District Administrative Office
1200 Wilmette Ave. 
Wilmette, IL 60091
Find Meeting Minutes on our website here. Minutes are posted after Board
approval, approximately one month after each meeting
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