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Knoch Park Central Maintenance Facility


Following several years of review and community input, and the considering of various options to address the main issues surrounding the Barn and Central Maintenance Facility at Knoch Park, including ADA accessibility and work-life safety, the Park Board of Commissioners and staff determined that building a new Central Maintenance Facility at Knoch Park (including demolition of the Barn) is the best option for the community and District operations.

Current Project
In February of 2013, after years of study and conversation with the community, the Park Board of Commissioners approved a contract for architectural and engineering services to design a facility to replace the Knoch Park Central Maintenance Facility. Demolition of the existing Barn (built in 1965) and Maintenance Shed (built in the late 70's) and construction of a new replacement Central Maintenance Facility at Knoch Park was the original recommendation of the 2009 Facility Study and 2010 Review Team Assessment. 

Iin light of the programming and operational opportunities created by the Fort Hill Activity Center, regulatory changes concerning ADA compliance and stormwater management, and additional feedback from the community on capital and program priorities, the Park Board chose in March of 2014, to conduct an additional space needs analysis with respect to maintenance and operational services to confirm the project scope, associated construction costs, and examine possible alternatives with respect to use of Knoch Park and provision of a centrally located maintenance facility.  With the results of that additional study in hand, the Park Board and staff considered several alternative scenarios and concluded that a new facility replacing the old facility at Knoch Park (including demolition of the Barn) was still the best option and that this new facility should also include the Park Police operations.    This Knoch Park Central Maintenance/Park Police Facility plan aligns with the community feedback received throughout the various studies and ensures operational efficiency and flexibility, resulting in cost savings for the Park District. 

Barn Recreation Center and Central Maintenance Facility Study
In 2009, the Naperville Park District conducted a study of the Barn Recreation Center and Central Maintenance Facility to review current conditions of the facilities and provide recommendations for future improvements. The study identified deficiencies with program and operations areas, including the inability to easily modify indoor space to accommodate additional needs, compliance with applicable building codes and ADA accessibility guidelines. The study also identified that both facilities are near the end of their useful lifecycles. Therefore, the project team prepared concept plans in an attempt to address the issues for both facilities including 1.) minor renovations, 2.) additions and renovations and 3.) new construction.

The Naperville Park District presented the concept plans at a Public Open House on October 13, 2009 in order to gather comments from community stakeholders. In addition, the project team provided the Park Board of Commissioners with a project presentation at the November 19, 2009 workshop.

Park District staff recommended the assembling of a Barn Recreation Center and Central Maintenance Facility Review Team in order to further analyze the improvement options associated with the two facilities and gather additional community and stakeholder input. The District formed the Barn/Shop Review Team with members representing community organizations, program participants and interested residents. The review team developed goals around the concept plans. The goals include:


  • Do not move out of existing footprint – The purpose of this goal is to preserve the open space adjacent to existing footprint (green spaces and sports fields) for use by all patrons of Knoch Park.
  • Single purpose facility onsite – This goal was established to provide a single use within the existing facility footprint to eliminate conflicts in usage and improve site safety.
  • Alleviate conflicts of mixed uses – The purposed of this goal is to eliminate the conflicts between the uses of the Knoch Park green space and existing/future facility.
  • Adequate parking (facility and Knoch Park) – The purpose of this goal is to determine if adequate parking is provided to meet the needs of the facility while serving the needs of Knoch Park.
  • Maintain green space – As part of the Caroline Martin Mitchell stakeholders review, maintaining the green space within this area of Naperville was deemed a priority.
  • Disruption of service to be minimal – The purpose of this goal is to consider the overall disruption in service to the community in determining the best solution for the site.
  • Building designs address needs of the community – The purpose of this goal is to identify if the initial draft design of either facility meets the needs of the community.

The Naperville Park District presented the updated concept plans at a Public Open House on Thursday, May 6, 2010 at the Barn Recreation Center at 421 W. Martin Avenue. In preparation for this Public Open House, the project team developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
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 the Barn (built in 1965) and the Central Shop (built in the late 70's) 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.  Currently the Barn is home to indoor recreation programs 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. View more information on the Fort Hill Activity Center webpage.

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 new Central Maintenance Facility is currently under construction and scheduled to be operational in June 2017 in time for summer operations, programs, and community events including Ribfest to be hosted at Knoch Park.

Have Additional Questions?
If you have any questions, please e-mail Eric Shutes, Director of Planning, at



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