HUMBOLDT PARK — Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited Humboldt Park Wednesday to mark the beginning of the Maplewood Park field house renovation project.
Under the project, the park’s tiny, 1940s-era field house will get a much-needed $2 million makeover, about $500,000 more than originally proposed.
Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), whose ward includes the park, contributed $800,000 in menu money toward the project. Received annually by each ward in the city, menu money is earmarked for projects like street resurfacing, replacing street lights and other infrastructure improvements.
The park advisory council raised $100,000 in donations. The rest of the funds — $1.1 million — came from the Chicago Park District, according a spokeswoman.
The new 3,000-square-foot field house will offer two club rooms, offices and bathrooms that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It will replace a 600-square-foot red shack that leaks when it rains.
Last summer, then-president of the park advisory council, Amy Ewaldt, told DNAinfo the field house was in desperate need of upgrades.
“There’s nothing else that can be done in that room. It has to be torn down. There’s no way to remodel, there’s no way to fix it up, put a band-aid on it,” Ewaldt previously said.
Emanuel was joined by park district Supt. Michael Kelly, Moreno, park leaders and kids at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
In a written statement, Moreno called the park a “community anchor.”
“Once complete, this new field house will continue supporting this community by providing the safe recreational, learning and gathering places that West Side residents deserve,” the alderman said in the statement.
The renovation project is expected to be complete in May of 2019, according to a park district spokeswoman.
Maplewood Park at 1640 N. Maplewood Ave. was established in 1948 as a Board of Education-owned property, according to the park district’s website. Two years later, the city’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation added a field house, sand box and play field.
The park district took over the park in 1959. The park was last renovated in 1991 when the city installed a new soft surface play area.