Mayor Richard M. Daley cut the ceremonial grand opening ribbon today at the new Valley Forge Park fieldhouse in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
Daley was joined Alderman Michael R. Zalewski (23rd), Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Timothy J. Mitchell, Public Building Commission Executive Director Erin Lavin Carbonargi and many residents of the surrounding community.
The 10,244-square-foot park facility at 7001 W. 59th St. includes a large half-court gymnasium with striping for basketball and volleyball, fitness and club rooms, locker rooms, pantry, gym storage, reception area and administrative offices.
The $4 million fieldhouse was designed to achieve a silver rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. It includes environmentally sustainable design features such as: a natural ventilation system with central air conditioning when needed; a building automation system; a rainwater harvesting system; and a geothermal ground source heat exchange system.
“I am excited about this new fieldhouse because it offers many great amenities for neighbors in the Garfield Ridge and Clearing communities,” Mayor Daley said. “It is important for Chicagoans to have recreational space in all areas of the city. By increasing open space throughout our neighborhoods we are continually improving this city’s quality of life.”
“We are thrilled to offer this great community a brand new, state-of-the-art fieldhouse that will support the many programs and special events hosted here at Valley Forge Park,” Mitchell said.
This winter, programs for the community include various youth offerings such as arts and crafts, basketball, floor hockey, indoor soccer, kids fitness, gymnastics and tumbling, tap and ballet, and volleyball. Family programming includes a Moms, Pops and Tots offering. Adults can take advantage of the state-of-the-art fitness center and the walking club.
“The Public Building Commission includes elements of sustainable design into all the facilities we construct, which lower costs and are better for the environment,” Cabonargi said. “The green features implemented in this park fieldhouse promote water conservation, energy use reduction, and the use of recycled, durable and regional materials.”