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New Facility Goes Up Where Barn Stood

The Naperville Park District’s Barn Recreation Center, though beloved by many, recently had to come down.

Constructed in 1965, the old Barn hosted thousands at the park district activities held there.

But in 2009, a study of the facilities determined that the barn was at the end of its useful life cycle – so plans were made to replace it.

“We identified as a park district to first develop the Fort Hill Activity Center so that all the recreation programs that are offered at the barn could get shifted over,” said Eric Shutes, Director of Planning with the Naperville Park District. “Once that shift happens then we would demolish the barn and also the shop for development of this new Knoch Park Central Maintenance Facility.”

The barn was torn down this July and construction is already underway on the new Knoch Park Central Maintenance Facility, which will host many different departments of the Naperville Park District, including staff, maintenance, and park district police. Its location in central Naperville is ideal for its role.

“We have a large concentration of facilities here in central Naperville, we have the Ron Ory Garden Plots, Sportsman’s Park, the Riverwalk,” said Shutes. “These facilities require a lot of attention and labor hours for our park staff so by having a hub here our staff are spending less time driving site to site and spending more time maintaining our facilities for the Naperville Park District.”

The building is about halfway finished. Now that most of the structure is complete, the colder months will be spent on the inside, putting up the walls and pouring concrete. The winter weather hasn’t slowed down construction on the facility, which is slated to open this coming May.

Although the new location is for park district staff, there will be some public amenities, including public restrooms, a parking lot, and a multipurpose meeting room.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.


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