Key Skokie venues recognized with honors
The Skokie Park District received the 2013 Outstanding Facility & Park Award for "large park district renovations to an existing facility” by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association. The award was for the renovation of the Skatium. | File photo
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:51PM
Some of Skokie’s most visible venues and recent development projects have been honored by outside sources.
The Skokie Skatium was given the 2013 Outstanding Facility & Park Award for “large park district renovations to an existing facility” by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association.
The arena was chosen for “exceptional and unique achievements in design and development.” The Skatium scored the highest point total among entries submitted in its division, across the State of Illinois.
In April 2011, the Skatium closed its doors for a massive renovation. In September 2011, the newly-remodeled 34,000 square-foot building re-opened.
The Skatium renovation included a state-of-the-art lobby with natural light pouring through a glass enclosed wall structure; modern locker rooms for the main rink, and two new locker rooms next to the studio rink; a new café; two large party rooms; new plumbing and other infrastructure updates, requiring less maintenance; a new computerized energy management system, regulating the temperature of the building’s many rooms and the rinks, making the building more energy efficient and the customer experience much more comfortable; and other features.
More recently, the Golf Range Association of America and Golf Range Magazine for the 11th time since 1998 named Skokie Sports Park one of the top golf practice centers and learning facilities in America. In previous years the list included 100 ranges. This year’s ranking puts Sports Park in the GRAA top 50 stand alone ranges.
The Sports Park range features a two-story, 40-station driving range with a new automatic tee-up system; lights for evening practice; and 11 heated stalls for winter practice. Target greens provide a landing area for precise accuracy and distance control.
The Sports Park also features golf lessons, two miniature “adventure” golf courses – including the 18-hole Traveler’s Quest course and the nine-hole children’s Kid’s Quest course – as well as batting cages, a pro shop, and meeting and party room rentals.
Not to be outdone, the village’s new Oakton-Skokie Yellow Line station recently was awarded with the 2012 Award for Project Excellence in the building category by the Lake County Contractors Association. The new station began service April 30.
The award plaque is inscribed “In recognition of your spirit of cooperation that resulted in the successful completion of this project” recognizing that many state and federal agencies, utilities and contractors were involved in the long-term project.
“Many Village staff members, particularly those from the engineering division, worked diligently to bring the project to fruition,” said Mayor George Van Dusen.
Ridership statistics from the new station has surpassed initial goals, with over 950 boardings every weekday, Van Dusen said.
“The station also brings people to jobs and stores in Downtown Skokie, and nearly every nearby merchant attests to the station’s positive impact on their business,” he said.
The $20 million station construction project was funded by a $14 million federal grant, with the Village funding the remaining $6 million through its Downtown Skokie Tax Increment Financing District.