Wight & Company Breaks Ground on Recreation Center in Chicago Suburb

An integrated team of architects, engineers and construction management professionals from Wight & Company have broken ground on a new indoor recreation center for the Plainfield Township Park District in Plainfield, Ill. This 40,000-square-foot facility is a major addition for a park district that serves residents of this rapidly growing suburb located 35 miles southwest of Chicago. Plainfield’s population tripled between 2000 and 2015. Currently, the Will County village has about 40,000 residents. 

The recreation center will house two basketball courts, a fitness center, an elevated walking/running track, preschool classrooms, multi-purpose rooms and office space. Chicago-based Wight & Company is the park district’s partner on the project and will provide architectural design, construction management, civil engineering, structural engineering and landscape architecture for the new building. 

“Through the 50 plus years of the Park District’s existence, we have never had our own indoor recreation facility. This new facility will allow us to meet the needs that a district of our size has, providing residents with dedicated indoor space for team sports, fitness, early childhood education and a host of other programs that will benefit our community,” said Carlo Capalbo, executive director of the Plainfield Township Park District. 

“We are applying our ‘Design & Delivery’ model to this assignment, meaning that we’ll be taking a fully integrated approach to the design, engineering and construction of the building,” explained Robert Ijams, director of parks and recreation at Wight & Company. “Design & Delivery allows us to fast-track a project like this, which translates into shorter delivery time and significant savings for the client,” said Ijams. The new indoor recreation center is slated to open in late 2018. 

Notably, the new recreation center will be a highly sustainable building. Wight & Company’s project team has set its sights on delivering the center as a Net-Zero facility, according to Wight & Company’s chief sustainability officer Lois Vitt Sale, AIA, LEED Fellow. “This facility is targeting Net Zero energy,” explained Vitt Sale, “meaning it will generate, through roof-mounted photovoltaics, the amount of energy it consumes annually.” The facility has received pre-certification through Passive House U.S., an organization that requires buildings to meet very low energy targets through the design of high performance envelopes and efficient building systems. The center will be located within Bott Community Park on Renwick Road.