District celebrates youth athletes and their achievements at the Conrad Worrill Track and Field at Gately Park
Today, during its monthly meeting, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners heard presentations on 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and 2021 Popular Annual Financial Report outlining sound fiscal state of the District safeguarding taxpayers, employees and patrons prospects into the future. The Board also approved an intergovernmental agreement to fund the shoreline protection evaluation report for the rehabilitation of certain segments of the lakefront. Also at the meeting held at the Conrad Worrill Track and Field at Gately Park, 10201 S. Cottage Grove Avenue in the Pullman community, the District celebrated the athletic achievements made at the state-of-the-art facility.
A presentation was given to the Board on the 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) and 2021 Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) as required by the Chicago Park District as a government agency and indicated in the District’s Code. These reports provide a detailed accounting for all Park District’s receipts, expenditures, liabilities, and resources for last year and accurately exhibits the agency’s financial condition. Although the District’s finances were impacted by the pandemic, parks continued to provide a seamless continuity of services while leveraging opportunities that will favorably shape the District’s financial health well into the future.
“The financial health of the District is critical to everything we do to support the children and families of Chicago,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño . These reports underscore the District’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. Even through the most challenging of times, we made sound decisions and leveraged opportunities to protect our taxpayers and the financial future of our former and existing employees while continuing to make much needed programmatic and capital investments.”
Highlights include debt refinancing that yielded a savings of $29.6 million and working with key stakeholders to get pension reform legislation approved. Also, Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) revenues exceeded budgeted projections by $46.6 million, largely due to a growing economy. In addition, a resurgence of golf and boating occurred with both revenues exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Construction on the Park District’s new headquarters continued and will bring 17 acres of much needed parkland to the park poor Brighton Park community.
The District ended 2021 with General Fund revenues exceeding expenditures and financing uses by $23 million.
With the strong financial results of 2021 and the passage of pension legislation that will have the Park’s pension fund 100% funded by 2057, both Fitch and S&P upgraded the outlook on the District’s bonds from negative to stable.
The Board approved the authorization for the Park District to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Chicago to fund the Chicago Shoreline Protection Project General Evaluation Report to assess the scope of work to rehabilitate deteriorated areas of Chicago’s lakefront. The City and Park District will both contribute $750,000 to fund half the cost of the $3 million dollar study. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pay the remaining $1.5 million and award the contracts required to complete the study.
The Board also a heard presentation celebrating youth athletes who have excelled in their respective sport as a result of opportunities offered at the Conrad Worrill Track and Field at Gately Park. Junior Olympic National Qualifiers, who were in attendance and acknowledged for their accomplishments.
“This facility is a shining example of the importance of investment in neighborhoods throughout the city and providing our children with access to opportunities the allow them to achieve their greatest potential,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent Escareño. . “The Conrad Worrill Track and Field at Gately Park has filled a massive void that existed for generations in Roseland and the youth track and field community. I’m beyond pleased to see the building full of children and teens engaged in productive activities and proud to celebrate the accomplishments that take place in this building each day.”
Completed in 2020, the newly-named Dr. Conrad Worrill Track and Field Center at Gately Park is a nearly140,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that offers the only hydraulically banked indoor track in Illinois and allows Chicago to compete with similar major markets, such as New York City and Boston, to host championship events. Additionally, the Indoor Track and Field Center includes a 4,000-square foot warm-up area, eight sprint lanes, two long and triple jump runways and pits, two pole-vault runways, a high jump area, throws cage, and a seating capacity of 3,500. Other features of the facility are a state-of-the-art fitness center, multi-purpose rooms, a meet management control room, concessions, and locker rooms. The facility also includes four basketball courts and six volleyball courts within the track and field center.
The facility features a state-of-the-art fitness center, family restrooms, and locker rooms. The multipurpose rooms house a variety of activities from arts and crafts and painting to workshops and lectures.