Walls Rising for Helwig Recreational Center

Post a Comment » Written on January 13th, 2006     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (January 13, 2006) – The walls have begun to go up on the Helwig Recreational Center at North Park University and the school is close to meeting its $26 million fundraising goal.

Helwig construction site The building – on property located at the southwest corner of Kedzie and Carmen avenues – will include a 200 meter two-lane indoor running track, batting cages, basketball and volleyball courts, a climbing wall, and fitness area. It will be available to all North Park students in the fall.

“It’s something that is going to impact every student here,” says Nicole Daniels, director of external relations. “It will improve student life as well as varsity athletics and intramurals.”

The center is expected to provide a major boost in recruiting student athletes, who make up roughly 25 percent of the current student body, says Daniels. The university has lost a number of student athlete prospects as well as regular students because of more modern facilities elsewhere. “We’re actually playing catch-up,” she says.

Daniels says the University is within $400,000 of the fundraising goal. The Kresge Foundation offered a boost to that effort by offering a $300,000 challenge grant. The deadline for meeting the challenge grant is April 1.

Construction still is on schedule for a fall opening despite an unusual setback – Chicago has been warmer than normal for this time of year. “Normally you’re worried about winter conditions,” says Carl Balsam, university vice president and financial officer. The warm weather and rain, however, have made the ground “rather soft.” As a result, using the giant crane to move the concrete slabs is more difficult, Balsam says.

To see more pictures, visit the North Park website at Construction.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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