To view the presentation document given at the two public meetings, click here.
The Kenilworth Park District and Joseph Sears School Boards invite all residents to join us for a community meeting to review the preliminary plans for a new Village House, the rerouting of the Green Bay Bicycle Trail, and improvements to Cumnor Road.
Over the past year we have been working collaboratively to develop a proposal that will improve education and recreation opportunities for the children of Kenilworth. The following are results of our efforts:
- A mutual desire to build a new Village House which will have a combined cafeteria/gymnasium, a number of meeting/classrooms, and activity/programming space for youth enrichment. Also included will be an indoor/outdoor reception area along with storage space and bathrooms accessible from indoors and outdoors. Joseph Sears School will utilize the new facility during the school day and the Park District will use the building in the afternoons (after school programming), evenings, weekends, and during the summer. This unique partnership will allow for more efficient use of building amenities and will provide additional program opportunities for a greater variety of community constituents.
- A mutually identified safety need to reroute the Green Bay Bike Trail to run adjacent to the railroad tracks from Winnetka to the Kenilworth train station. We believe this is an important safety measure to reduce the flow of bicycle traffic through the Sears School blacktop, which will reduce potential rider/pedestrian conflicts. The potential success of this project requires the potential use of right-of-way land owned by Union Pacific Railroad. The Village of Kenilworth is helping to coordinate the effort and it is the intent of all parties involved to explore ways to maintain the current teacher parking lot and preserve all usable green space along Townley Field. Although the involved groups are not certain of the outcome of this project, we are encouraged by the experiences and the support we are receiving from our neighboring communities and bike trail support organizations.
- A requirement to improve Cumnor Road for Fire and Emergency Equipment access. The segment of Cumnor Road adjacent to Townley Field will need to be reconstructed to assure that emergency vehicles can access the new Village House. We are working with the Village of Kenilworth and Fire Safety authorities from the Winnetka Fire Department to insure that we will be able to preserve the mature trees and the nature of the road for the neighbors. The road will not be a regular access to the back of Sears School but will remain a dead end and signs will be posted accordingly.
We understand that taxes in Kenilworth are high and want residents to know that the projects listed above DO NOT include any plans related to raising taxes. For the majority of the funding the Park District is working to secure a loan supported by a lease agreement with Joseph Sears School. The remaining funding will need to be raised privately from Kenilworth residents or organizations/ businesses that are interested in supporting the new building financially.
We hope that you will consider attending one of the two meetings we have listed within this letter. During those times, representatives from the working group will go over preliminary building plans, provide additional insight into each project, and field questions. Over the next couple months, we hope to expand the working group and will be developing a web page to include the materials presented at the meeting for those that are unable to attend. Additionally, contact information will be provided on that web page should any individual wish to ask questions about the projects. We look forward to your attendance during a truly exciting time for the Village of Kenilworth. In the spirit of community,
Kenilworth Park District Board of Commissioners
Joseph Sears School Board