Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined the Chicago Park District and Chicago Housing Authority to break ground on a new fieldhouse and community center at Williams Park in the Bronzeville Neighborhood. The project is a key component of Building on Burnham, the Mayor’s comprehensive plan to invest in recreation along the city’s lakefront, the Chicago River, natural areas and neighborhoods across the city.
“This fieldhouse will be a new community anchor for children and families in Bronzeville and I look forward to opening its doors this year,” Mayor Emanuel said. “As we continue to invest in our Building on Burnham plan to improve parks and public spaces across the city, we are strengthening our communities and putting the City in a Garden within reach of every child.”
“We are pleased to bring this new field house to the children and families of this community,” Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly said. “These facilities support the activities that breathe life into our parks and neighborhoods, and it is critical that we invest in them to serve future generations.”
Located at 2820 S. State St., the approximately 10,000-square-foot new fieldhouse will feature a half-court gymnasium and multi-purpose club rooms for art, education, performances, meetings and exercise. Outdoor improvements will include a new spray pool, bike racks, landscaping, exterior lighting, concrete benches and new sidewalks. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.
“It’s about more than bricks and mortar at CHA, it’s about people. And nothing is more important than providing the community with a modern recreational space for youth. CHA is proud to partner with the Chicago Park District to help deliver this vital amenity for this neighborhood,” CHA CEO Eugene E. Jones, Jr. said.
The Chicago Park District, the Chicago Housing Authority, the Public Building Commission and the City of Chicago have partnered to fund the construction of the $9.3 million facility.
The new Williams Park Fieldhouse is the latest in park improvements in Bronzeville, including four major bridges to increase access to the lakefront, and the Ellis Park Arts and Recreation center.
Mayor Emanuel launched Building on Burnham as a nod to Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago, which recommended a series of projects focused on the protection and preservation of parkland in Chicago’s neighborhoods. An interactive map with Building on Burnham projects can be found here.