Arena Upgrade Planned for St. James Farm

The Forest Preserve District has taken the first steps toward upgrading the indoor riding arena at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville.

When completed, the renovation will bring the building up to code for public use for proposed activities such as horse shows, exhibitions, riding clinics and classes, therapeutic riding programs, plant sales, indoor archery events, or meetings and receptions.

Proposed improvements include upgrades to the HVAC, electrical and lighting systems; the installation of fire alarms and sprinklers; and modifications to doors, windows and skylights. They also include the construction of an addition with restrooms, movable bleacher seating for 100, and a multipurpose room, which could serve as a meeting, reception, or food-preparation and concession area. Exterior work will include a new entrance walkway and access for emergency services. The project will also address any stabilization or other issues identified in a pre-design assessment.

St. James Farm is currently on well and septic, but the Forest Preserve District is working with an engineering firm on a separate project to bring city sewer and water to the forest preserve and arena. 

On Jan. 30 the District hosted an open house on the project and accepted public comments through February. It will use the responses as part of the planning process. It hopes to have a design completed and approved in 2016 so construction and renovations can wrap up by the end of 2017.

Approximately $2.1 million from construction and development funds and the St. James Farm McCormick Endowment fund is budgeted for the design, permitting and construction of this project.

Source: The Conservationist Spring 2016 

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