Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton had encouraging news for residents and cited new businesses, solid financial standing and potential new restaurants when he delivered his 17th "State of the Village" address.
But he saved the best news until last.
“Let’s look at the future,” said Sexton, speaking at the Evergreen Park Seniors Luncheon at the Senior Center last Thursday. “I am very excited about what is coming. We are going to build a new community center, approximately 10,000 square feet larger than the current facility,” he said, excitedly. “It will be twice the size of what we have now.”
The current center is located at 3450 W. 97th St. The new building will be set back further from the street at 3443 W. Clark St. Sexton said it will provide additional daycare space for various age groups in the youth wing and plenty of room for other youth activities.
Construction is expected to start in January or February with an anticipated completion date in November 2018. Sexton said the current building will continue to be used until the new center is completed and occupied.
“There may be some bumps in the road along the way, but I think you all deserve this; our seniors and our young people,” he said. “It is a win-win for all of us.”
He stated that the funding for the new center is coming from state money and sales tax revenue.
“It will not be coming out of taxpayer’s money.”
Architect for the project is Craig A. Podlak, who also designed the senior center, the village’s fire station and the village hall. Sexton said the senior center will remain open.
As he mentioned the new businesses opening up at the new Plaza, Sexton gave a huge shout-out to TJ Maxx for its donation of $10,000 to the village food pantry.
“That is being a good neighbor,” said Sexton.
On a more somber note, Sexton said there has been a rash of car-jackings recently.
“Do not leave your car running to warm it up,” he told the seniors. “It is better to have a cold car, than no car.”
He also praised the village’s police department for its national record on its three-minute response time.
“Don’t be afraid to call 911. If you have a problem, or you see something going on that doesn’t look right, call the police. Our police are there to help you. They can do vacation watches and funeral and wake watches. Just call them,” Sexton said.