The District presented 2022 financial reports to the Board
Today, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners heard various presentations including requests for contract authorizations and other matters related to park operations including a presentation to recognize the District’s achievement in increasing youth employment, a request for authorization to renovate Marquette Park and request for design work to make accessibility modifications at various park fieldhouses.
Remaining firm on its commitment to engage Chicago’s teens and young adults, the Park District hired 2,214 youth, ages 16 to 24 this Summer; the youngest sector of the City’s employable residents. These individuals served in various titles job titles including Day Camp Recreation Leaders, Lifeguards, Floriculture Worker, Sailing Instructor and Junior Laborer. Each of these positions pay a minimum of $15/hour. In addition to earning a competitive salary, these opportunities keep young people engaged in positive activities and allow them to build solid foundation for future careers.
“We are so proud of the success we’ve had engaging our city’s youth, providing them with valuable employment opportunities but creating pathways to become healthy, productive members of their communities and our city, said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareno. “We look forward to working with our partners, including schools and community-based youth organizations to build on that success over the next year.”
The Park District credits this success to early planning with recruitment efforts starting in October 2022. The District hosted three teen opportunity fairs where attendees were able to learn about and apply for summer jobs, a robust communications plan and strengthening partnerships with schools. In addition, to increasing the number of youth hires from the previous year, the District increased diversity among seasonal employees with people of color representing 80% of the summer workforce and women representing 54% of the summer workforce. The Park District also continues to increase hires on the south and west sides of the city by offering job training and readiness opportunities in those areas. The District also continues to work in partnership with the City under the American Rescue Plan Act, a three year agreement for $5.5M in ARPA funding to support youth hiring through summer 2025.
Also today, the Board authorized the District to enter into a contract with Robe, Incorporated for renovations to Marquette Park fieldhouse, 6734 S. Kedzie in the Chicago Lawn community. The scope of work includes roof replacement work, restorative masonry work, restorative structural work, clearing of underground drain lines, abatement work and restoration of interior finishes damaged by existing roof and masonry conditions. These improvements will help maintain the structural integrity of the aging fieldhouse which supports dozens of park programs and events as well as community-based programs annually. The contract amount is not to exceed to 3,793,600.00 and exceed the District’s goals with 25.02% MBE and 23.72% WBE participation.
“Marquette Park fieldhouse is a valuable community anchor that supports vital resources for the surrounding community and beyond,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “In order to meet the community’s needs, we must ensure this historic fieldhouse undergoes much needed renovations so that it continues to be as vibrant and useful as it has been for generations.”
The Board also approved an agreement with Mode Architects for the purpose of providing architectural design services for ADA modifications at 82 park fieldhouses. In addition to providing vital park programs and resources throughout the year, these facilities also serve as election polling locations which require a certain level of ADA modifications to ensure accessibility for voters and be compliant with the U.S. Department of Justice standards.
The scope of work will focus on the path leading to the building and areas designated as polling places to meet current accessibility Code requirements. This may include regrading existing ADA parking stalls, exterior walkways, constructing new compliant ramps, and providing compliant doors and hardware, compliant interior voting areas. Upon the completion of their review and design for each facility, Mode Architects will provide the District with the required site verifications, modifications, design, construction documents and specifications to enable permitting.
The contract amount is not to exceed to $990,520.00 and exceed the District goals with 39.7 % MBE and 26% WBE participation.
Also during today’s meeting, the Board authorized the District to enter into a land exchange with the Chicago Transit Authority to make way for the Red Line Extension project, the transformational effort to extend the transit line from 9500 South to 13000 South. The Park District will exchange a 4.106-acre portion of Fernwood Parkway Park, located at 9903 South Eggleston Avenue, for several properties equaling or exceeding 4.106 for the development of replacement park acreage.
Other agenda items include the approval of a contract for District-wide environmental abatement services to ensure park fieldhouses are other facilities are free of asbestos, lead, mold and other potentially infectious substances and the authorization to develop Park District's web-based to streamline processes, including public service requests for faster, more efficient response time.
The Park District also presented the 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and 2022 Popular Annual Financial Report to the Board of Commissioners.