The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 26, 2013

Clubhouse, Douglas Park to see renovations

DANVILLE — Phase 2 of renovations at Harrison Park Clubhouse began last week. The final event that was booked at the venue this year was a holiday party on Dec. 14.

“We just started (Dec. 17),” said Steve Lane, special services superintendent with the city. “We’re going to completely renovate the restrooms. We’ll remove them and start from scratch.”

Another room to be renovated is the long, narrow room adjacent to the restrooms that overlooks the river on the north side of the building.

Lane said exterior renovations on the historic building are ongoing.

“Not a lot is visible,” Lane said of exterior renovations completed earlier this year on the north and west portions. “Our main focus for the next three months is in that restroom and north room.”

Once Phase 2 is done, the next area to tackle is the screened-in porch areas that were enclosed over the years. The areas look over the golf course.

“We plan to do quite a bit of work and possibly open that area up,” Lane said.

The work at the clubhouse is all inside during the next few months, which is a great project for the city parks and recreation staff during the cold weather.

Phase 1 of renovation work at the clubhouse included uncovering a wooden staircase near the front door, painting and other renovation work including stucco repairs, the cleaning of chandeliers and roof work.

Lane said not a lot is being done to change the clubhouse’s arts and crafts style or character.

The city owns and operates Harrison Park Golf Course on West Voorhees Street as a public recreational facility. The city bought the clubhouse separately.

The clubhouse, a historic landmark next to the 18-hole golf course, was built in 1911 for $20,000. Today, the city’s parks department oversees the clubhouse.

“Over the years there were many alterations,” Lane said about the building, including a rebuilt south wall. The last major renovations occurred around eight to nine years ago with the windows, and also other restoration work, interior decorating and other renovations in the mid-1990s with the help of the Old Town Preservation Association.

Funding for the renovations comes from the operational budget of the city’s parks and public property division.

Public Works Director Doug Ahrens said the budget covers more than 30 city-owned buildings including fire stations, which recently have seen window replacements and other work, and park structures.

The buildings are on a rotation for improvements to take place.

More than $75,000 has been spent on roofing, structural repairs and interior finishes at the clubhouse.

Capital dollars helped with the roof that coincided with other interior renovations, Ahrens said.

Another project the city staff will be working on as weather allows is installing new playground equipment at Douglas Park off Bowman Avenue.

The replacement of that equipment also will be completed in phases, Lane said.

“We have a new play structure to put in,” he said of the city purchase.

The playground at Douglas Park also still has pea gravel underneath the play area. The gravel is being phased out of parks and converted to mulch.

Lane said with nice weather, they can get started on the work.

“We just did Elmwood Park last fall,” Lane said. “We replaced a big swing set there and converted (the play area) to pea gravel.”

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