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Barn Recreation Center

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The Barn was home to many Naperville Park District recreation and preschool programs. The main floor of the facility was (2,700 sq. ft.) and had four classrooms.

Barn Demolition Project Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Why did the Naperville Park District evaluate the Barn Recreation Center and Central Shop Facilities?
A.  A 2009 study of the facilities identified several deficiencies with program and operation areas, including the inability to easily modify indoor space to accommodate current and future needs, compliance with applicable building codes, and compliance with ADA accessibility standards.  The study also concluded that both facilities are near the end of their useful lifecycles.

Q.  What is the history of the Barn Recreation Center?
A.  The Barn was built in 1965 by a Naperville Community Youth Organization that consisted of high school students from Naperville Central High School.  The intention of the youth organization was to construct a building that could be solely designated as a youth recreational center.  The Barn is home to indoor recreation space with a couple of administrative offices used by the Naperville Park District.  The Naperville Park District understands the nostalgic aspect of the Barn and plans to document the history and examine the potential reuse of materials from the existing building within a new facility.  The building is not a historic barn. 

Q.  What is the preferred option?
A.  The development of a new Central Maintenance Facility on the site, is the preferred option. It meets the recommended goals established by the Barn Recreation and Central Maintenance Facility Review Team.  Furthermore, as part of extensive community open house events, committee meetings, studies, and cost/benefit analysis exercises conducted over the past seven (7) years, the Park District identified the development of a new Central Maintenance Facility as the best option based on its organizational Mission and Core Values. 

Q.  When indoor recreation space is developed to replace the Barn what will it include and where will it be located?
A.  The indoor recreation space and related programs currently offered at the Barn are planned to be shifted to the new Fort Hill Activity Center and other Park District facilities in spring/summer 2016 before the demolition phase.  The Fort Hill Activity Center is being developed in what has become known as an “athletic corridor” on Quincy Avenue and Fort Hill Drive where other athletic related facilities are located. The Activity Center will serve as a community gathering place for all ages and abilities to enjoy a wide range of indoor recreation activities, sports, and fitness and wellness programs.
The Fort Hill Activity Center is being developed to:


    • Provide additional indoor space in order to better serve the year-round recreation needs of the community and more effectively address community health and wellness issues – one of the District’s core values.
    • Address programming needs for Naperville residents with special needs.
    • Better serve the needs of the senior community by providing amenities that encourage physical activity and making meaningful social connections
    • Serve the needs of the changing demographics of the Naperville community

Several years of Community Interest and Opinion Survey results, in addition to resident feedback from open houses and focus groups was utilized to develop the major recreational amenities included in the facility.  The Fort Hill Activity Center will be 79,575 square feet in size and includes a fitness area, multipurpose rooms, café, indoor playground, childcare room, gymnastics room, walk/jog track, wood floor studios, locker rooms and a gymnasium with up to 4 youth basketball courts, 4 volleyball courts and 6 courts that can be used for pickleball or badminton.  The Fort Hill Activity Center is anticipated to be complete and ready for public use in August 2016. 

Q.  How will the preferred option be funded?
A.  The new Central Maintenance Facility at Knoch Park is planned to be funded primarily with capital funds allocated for the use of Naperville Park District Improvement projects. 

Q.  Has a cost estimate been developed for the preferred option?
A.  As a result of conducting an extensive space needs and cost/benefit analysis, the cost to design and construct the Central Maintenance Facility at Knoch Park is set at $7,800,000. 

Q.  What are the next steps?
A.  The next steps involve the Naperville Park District hosting a community celebration event for the Barn before July 2016.  In mid-July, the demolition phase is slated to begin including both the Barn and Maintenance Shop structures.  The new Central Maintenance Facility is scheduled to be operational in June 2017 in time for summer operations, programs, and community events including Ribfest to be hosted at Knoch Park. 


As a result of the extensive research, analysis, and community feedback, the Park District identified Option 2: Construction of a new Central Maintenance Facility at Knoch Park as the best option.  As such, the Park District commissioned an architectural firm to design the Knoch Park Central Maintenance Facility project in February 2013.  The construction portion of the project is scheduled to begin in late July 2016 with the intent to reach substantial completion in spring 2017.

Questions or Comments
If you have additional questions or would like to comment on the proposed nature center, please e-mail Eric Shutes, director of planning, at  


Barn Recreation Center


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