Online petition drive calling for a gym at Gladstone Park launched
by BRIAN NADIG
The Gladstone Park Advisory Council has launched an online petition drive to gain support for the construction of a gym at the park, located at 5421 N. Menard Ave.
“Gladstone Park is the only staffed park located within the 45th Ward that does not have a gym and is not Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.
“Currently GP serves the community by offering programs geared for ages 3-6. With nearly all programs at or above capacity, GP has grown beyond its walls,” the council said in a recent petition posted on change.org. The petition also can be accessed via a link on the council’s Facebook page.
Council president Robert Simpson said that a gym would allow for a wider range of programming for children and adults and that the council hopes that the project could include the construction of an elevator or a lift, as park users currently must use stairs to enter the fieldhouse.
Due to the small nature of the park, the most feasible spot for a gym appears to be the existing outdoor basketball court, Simpson said. The gym could be connected to the east side of the fieldhouse and could have garage-style doors that would be open during nice weather, he said.
It is estimated that construction could cost about $4 million, and the council is hoping to secure grants and donations totaling about $500,000, which would then entice the Chicago Park District to fund the rest of the project, Simpson said. Any construction is probably at least 5 years away, but the council “wants to start the ball rolling,” he said.
The park, which was formed in the 1920s, includes a two-level fieldhouse that was designed by architect Clarence Hatzfield, who also designed the larger Jefferson Park fieldhouse at 4822 N. Long Ave.