August 15, 2022
Local News

Randall Oaks in West Dundee, the new center of recreation

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WEST DUNDEE – Workers touched up paint, employees unpacked boxes, and a handful of people tried out the new exercise equipment at Randall Oaks Recreation Center.

The center opened this week – a so-called soft opening before a grand opening celebration Aug. 25.

“To train the staff, it made sense to actually have it open so we could do some live training,” said Jim Miller, deputy director of the Dundee Township Park District.

Inside the center is a preschool room, a baby-sitting room, a fitness center, basketball courts and a library.

Construction on the 53,000-square-foot facility started in April 2011. The construction industry wasn’t particularly strong at the time, Miller said, “so we had a lot of good bids.”

The project was budgeted at $12.4 million. It is expected to come in about $250,000 under budget, Miller said.

Money for the center came from Build America Bonds, money made available through the federal economic stimulus act.

Property taxes will not increase because of the new facility, Miller said.

The facility also includes a west side branch of the Fox River Valley Public Library District.

“The library is like us; they have their building on the east side of the community,” Miller said. “We knew they would be interested in trying to expand to the west side of the community.”

The library is leasing recreation center space for at least five years and could be there for as long as 10 years, Miller said.

The recreation center library branch is 5,000 square feet. Users will be able to sign up for a library card at the branch and check out or renew materials, Branch Manager Nancy Kendzior said.

Besides new and popular materials, the branch will focus on health and fitness materials, she said.

Elsewhere in the center, The Kidzone is play area with computers, toys and a Ninetendo Wii gaming system. Parents will be able to drop off children ages 6 weeks to 11 years while they go workout.

There is a preschool room for 3- to 5-year-olds, with toys and small chairs and tables, among other things.

The group exercise studio has a maple floor designed to absorb the impact of moving up and down. Spin, Pilates classes and other classes will be there.

The fitness center has about 80 machines, Miller said. There is an elevated track where 12 laps equal one mile

The basketball courts have six baskets. The floor is rubber to take the wear and tear from competitions and different programs.

“It’s got to be durable.” Miller said

In the park district, the Fox River sometimes serves as a barrier because only two bridges cross it.

“A lot of the growth has been on the west side,” said Helen Shumate, director of marketing and communications for the district.

Miller said a facility on the west side was something residents wanted.

“We haven’t done as good a job serving the community on this side of the river,” he said. “As we’ve done surveys over the years, it’s been on the top of the list of what people want.”