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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Matt O’Shea (19th Ward), Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael Kelly, and members of the Morgan Park and Beverly communities today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony break ground on the long awaited Morgan Park, Beverly Sports Center.
"On the 10th anniversary of the opening of Millennium Park, we're breaking ground on a new sports complex that will do for the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhoods what Millennium Park has done for downtown Chicago," said Mayor Emanuel. "Chicago is only as strong as its neighborhoods and this facility is a prime example of the type of neighborhood investments we are making across the City to provide economic opportunities, recreational activities and the chance to strengthen the social fabric of this community."
The new 64,000 square foot sports facility, which was announced last year, will feature a state of the art indoor ice rink facility and a world-class gymnastics center. Additional features will include skate rentals, concession areas, meeting and party rooms, viewing areas, offices, restrooms and team locker rooms. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.
“This incredible new sports complex will open the doors to two increasingly popular sports as well as other recreation opportunities in Beverly, Morgan Park and surrounding communities,” said Michael Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. “State-of-the-art facilities combined with specialized gymnastics and skating programs will give athletes, whether beginner or elite, the opportunity to learn and excel at these sports.”
Morgan Park, Beverly Sports Center will accommodate a range of ages, from preschool children up to club-level athletes, and will feature a public viewing area and standard USGA competition events for men and women. The center will also feature a large pit area and in-ground trampolines for additional training opportunities. The indoor ice skating rink facility will have an 85’ x 200’ dimension with a seating capacity of 850-1,000 spectators. This facility will allow for year-round competitive hockey, figure-skating and recreational ice skating.
The $16 million project is being completed with a combination of state, Park District and TIF funding.
"I think it is a grand idea to bring ice skating to the Beverly area. Recreation and the good use of one’s leisure time should always be taught in our schools and available in our communities. I am proud to stand here at the groundbreaking to see, what I hope will be, one of the first new recreational facilities in the community,” said State Representative Monique D. Davis.
"The community is excited to have this new gymnastic center and ice rink. This is a wonderful addition to the community and an excellent project to make use of property that has stood vacant for too long," said State Representative Fran Hurley.
"Providing recreation and physical education opportunities for children needs to be a priority for city and state government," State Senator Bill Cunningham said. "I am thrilled that Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn share this view and have made this investment in our community."
Already this week, Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Park District have celebrated new investments in park facilities across the city, with the opening of three new playgrounds at Cragin Park (Belmont Cragin), Montgomery Park (River North) and Lucy Flower Park (Logan Square), new investments in Kelly Park (Brighton Park) and the groundbreaking for a skate park in Grant Park (downtown).
For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,100 acres of parkland, more than 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312.742.PLAY or 312.747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312.742.PLAY.
Photo Caption: Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Park District Break Ground On Morgan Park, Beverly Sports Center
Photo Credit: Patrick Pyszka // City of Chicago