2024 Proposal

The Mt. Prospect Park District is considering placing a funding proposal on the November 2024 ballot to address some of its highest-priority park and recreation facility needs. The funding proposal, for which the Park District seeks the community’s input, is focused on replacing Lions Recreation Center and Big Surf Pool—two aging facilities that have infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life—as well as addressing improvements at Lions Memorial Park and RecPlex.

The proposed upgrades would significantly improve the District’s offerings and better serve the community’s recreation needs for years to come.

If you would like to submit feedback regarding the funding proposal, our Park District team can be reached at 2024proposal@mppd.org.

Community Information Meetings

All Community Information Meetings held at Lions Recreation Center (411 S. Maple St.)

  • Thursday April 18 – 10:00-11:30 AM | Lions Recreation Center
  • Tuesday, April 23 – 5:30-7:00 PM | Lions Recreation Center

Community Letter

2024 Proposal Letter pg 1      2024 Proposal Letter pg 2

Facility Needs Summary

MPPD Facility Challenges Big Surf            MPPD Facility Challenges Lions

Preliminary Renderings & Site Plans

2024 Proposal Renderings pg 1             2024 Proposal Renderings pg 2

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Mt. Prospect Park District considering placing a bond referendum on the November 2024 ballot?
The Mt. Prospect Park District seeks to address some of its highest-priority park and recreation facility needs. The funding proposal is focused on replacing Lions Recreation Center and Big Surf Pool as well as addressing improvements to Lions Memorial Park and RecPlex. The proposed upgrades would significantly improve the District’s offerings.

What is a bond issue?
The purpose of a bond issue is to borrow money to finance major capital projects. A bond issue is a loan, which, similar to a mortgage, includes principal and interest payments over a set period of time. Bond funds are often used for major renovations, additions, and new facilities.

What specific improvements and renovations would be addressed?
Proceeds from the proposed bond referendum would be used as follows:

Lions Recreation Center
Constructing a new recreation center to replace the existing 54-year-old facility. The new recreation center would feature:

Two stories, with an ADA-compliant elevator
An elevated walking track
Three dividable, full-size basketball courts
A senior/multigenerational programming space
An art studio
Dance rooms
A preschool/early childhood programming space
Lockers and family changing rooms with access to the outdoor pool

–Facility Background: The existing facility was constructed in 1970 as part of a voter-approved bond referendum and much of its critical infrastructure is beyond its useful life. In addition, the facility does not meet current accessibility standards, limiting the Park District’s ability to provide recreational opportunities to all residents at this facility.

Outdoor Pool
Replacing the 40-year old Big Surf Pool with a new outdoor community pool. The new pool would feature:

Eight lap lanes
Two water slides
A zero-depth entry area
Aquatic spray features

–Pool Background: The original Lions Pool was replaced with the Big Surf Wave Pool in 1984, while the bathhouse dates back to its 1956 construction. Now entering its 40th year of operation in 2024, Big Surf Pool’s equipment and infrastructure are well beyond useful life and the pool is currently scheduled for permanent closure after the 2025 season.

Lions Memorial Park
Adding new park amenities, including:

Four pickleball courts
A skate park
An outdoor game area
Expanded parking

–Park Background: Lions Memorial Park was originally donated from the Mount Prospect Lions Club to the Village of Mount Prospect, which in turn deeded the land to the Mt. Prospect Park District upon its formation. Lions Memorial Park is seeing a first phase of significant improvements in 2024, including playground and game court replacement, refurbished tennis courts, the installation of a pathway system with fitness station, ballfield improvements, the formation of a picnic grove and prairie detention. Future development phases will depend on potential public support.

Addressing improvements at RecPlex, including:

Converting two basketball courts into a multisport artificial turf field
Constructing retractable partitions between turf and basketball court
Adding air conditioning in the gym

–Background: In recent years, the need for indoor artificial turf space in the community has grown with the Park District’s successful athletic programs and partnerships. In addition, the RecPlex gym space currently lacks air conditioning, limiting the gym’s warm-season usage.

What are the anticipated benefits of the proposed Park District improvements?

Improving the public’s quality of life
Expanding year-round recreational programming opportunities for all age groups
Increasing the Park District’s offerings for our active seniors
Promoting health, wellness and active lifestyles for all ability levels
Improving accessibility for residents with physical challenges
Attracting families, professionals and new businesses to our community
Protecting property values for our residents

What are some of the programs and events that would be added or improved as a result of the proposed improvements to Lions Memorial Park and RecPlex?
The following list details a sampling of programs and events that would be added or improved by constructing a new recreation center, replacing Big Surf with a new pool, addressing other park improvements at Lions Memorial Park, and adding turf improvements at RecPlex:

Lions Programming/Rentals

Athletics (Gymnasium)
–Youth/Adult basketball leagues and tournaments
–Pickleball – indoor and outdoor, open play, leagues and tournaments
–Other sports may include: volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball
–After school gym classes
–Open gym

Performing Arts
–Increased dance opportunities
–Rehearsal space for Mt. Prospect Community Concert Band
–Increase theatre/music opportunities

Visual Arts
–Increased Art Studio opportunities

Early Childhood & Youth
–Preschool and early childhood programs
–Day camp opportunities

Senior programs and drop-in opportunities
Birthday parties and rental opportunities
Aquatic events and birthday parties
Special events
NWSRA opportunities
Affiliate usage

RecPlex Turf Programming/Rentals

Athletic opportunities: youth & adult soccer leagues/practices, and affiliate usage
Baseball, lacrosse, flag football opportunities and more
Preschool and early childhood/tot programs
Camp opportunities
Birthday parties
NWSRA opportunities
Performance training classes

Would the court-to-turf conversions at RecPlex limit open gym availability?
Open gym will still be available at RecPlex on the remaining court. In addition, later this year the Park District will combine the underutilized racquetball courts into a new space with basketball hoops for additional opportunities. Beyond RecPlex, the three new basketball courts proposed at Lions Recreation Center would significantly add to the District’s public use offerings and programming, for basketball and more.

How has the Park District identified and prioritized its capital facility, park, and programming needs?
In 2022, a Comprehensive Master Plan was developed to evaluate needs, set goals, and define the District’s highest-priority unmet capital facility, parks, and programming needs. Additionally, in early 2024, a 30-member Citizen Task Force comprised of a cross-section of community stakeholders met with the Park District to provide input to the Executive Director on a possible bond referendum.

When was the last time voters approved funding for Park District improvements?
It has been 55 years since a bond referendum was passed to improve Mt. Prospect’s Park District offerings in 1969.

Has the Park District properly maintained its parks and facilities?
The Park District takes great pride in properly maintaining its parks and recreation spaces. Even with the financial challenges created due to pandemic shutdowns, the District has continued to make improvements and keep its facilities and amenities safe and operational. However, certain large-scale renovations and new construction projects fall outside of the District’s funding ability. To fund these improvements, a bond referendum is being considered.

What size referendum is being considered for the November 2024 ballot?
The District is considering placing a $46.2 million bond referendum on the November 2024 ballot.

How does the Park District’s current tax rate compare to its peer districts?
At 0.547 per $100 of Equalized Assessed Value (EAV), MPPD’s current tax rate is lower than most of its peer districts, including Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Elk Grove, Buffalo Grove, River Trails, Schaumburg, Northbrook, and Des Plaines.

What is the anticipated tax impact of the proposal?
The estimated annual tax impact of the proposed $46.2 million referendum is $49 per $100,000 of a home’s fair market value, or about $196 for a $400,000 home.

Would the Village help fund any of the proposed improvements?
Yes. The Village is interested in allocating TIF-related funds to the proposed improvements. These funds have been incorporated into the overall financing plan, helping to reduce the size of the overall request.

Why not repair Big Surf Pool instead of replacing it?
Big Surf Pool is nearing the end of its useful life and is scheduled for permanent closure after the 2025 season:

Bathhouse was originally constructed in 1956 with the last pool renovation in 1984
Pool shell is cracked and pool filters/heaters are failing
Asbestos issues exist within aging infrastructure
Big Surf startup and maintenance needs are double those of Meadows Pool
Wave equipment and controls are discontinued
Outdated bathhouse does not meet current ADA requirements

Additionally, while the wave function at the pool is unique, it poses significant operational challenges. As Big Surf may not be suitable for young children or older adults, replacing it with a community pool that serves all ages is a more equitable and cost-effective solution.

Why not renovate Lions Recreation Center instead of replacing it?
The District has a unique opportunity to create a destination park for residents by constructing a new recreation center, swimming pool, and other amenities. These improvements would meet our community’s needs for years to come. Renovating the existing recreation center, which would include many unknowns tied to asbestos and related challenges, would result in a facility that does not come close to meeting our community’s long-term recreation needs.

Are there proposed improvements to Melas Park that would be addressed with non-referendum funds?
The District is considering using non-referendum funds to improve drainage and expand one of the fields at Melas Park, among its annual capital improvements.

Has the Park District recently addressed any park, trail, or facility improvements with non-referendum funds?
The District recently completed the first phase of the redevelopment of Rosemary S. Argus Friendship Park, including the addition of a playground shelter, new pickleball courts, tennis court and ballfield improvements, new pathways and a fitness station. Grant funds, private donations, and District capital funds were used for that project. The District will also replace the ComEd Bike Path Trail through south Mount Prospect this year, as well as address site improvements at several facilities. These improvements include racquetball court conversions at RecPlex, roofing needs at CCC and the maintenance facility, and replacement of the pool liner at Meadows Pool.

If voters approve the proposed referendum, how would the project status be communicated to the public?
All project spending would be publicly disclosed, and project updates would be presented at District board meetings, community information meetings, and on the Park District’s website.

How can residents provide feedback on the funding proposal?
The Park District will send a public opinion survey to registered voter households later this spring. The District will also host Community Information Meetings per the dates, times, and locations below:
Community Information Meetings
Lions Recreation Center (411 S. Maple St, Mount Prospect, IL)
Meeting #1: Thursday, April 18th, 10-11:30 am (in the gym)
Meeting #2: Tuesday, April 23rd, 5:30-7 pm (in the preschool rooms)

If approved, for what length of time would my taxes be impacted by this proposal?
Bonds to fund the proposed improvements would be paid over a 20 year term, after which the Park District would revert back to its “normal” tax rate.

Tax Calculator

The estimated annual tax impact of the proposed $46.2 million bond referendum is $49 per $100,000 of a home’s fair market value, or about $195 for a $400,000 home. For reference, the calculator below displays the estimated tax impacts based on home fair market value.