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Fenwick to spearhead board role in Community Center planning

Cook County Commissioner Bob Fenwick Tuesday asked his fellow board members to allow him to take a lead role in planning for the new community center/pool project. He said he has a long history with the project since Community Center Director Diane Booth and the center's board first explored an expanded the current facility a number of years ago.

 “If we do it I will begin working immediately with Diane putting together the structure, how we should go forward doing the due diligence, the process for RFPs, (Request for Proposals) where we need to go forward in terms of concept design, project design, all those types of things and get rolling as soon as we can," said Fenwick.

Earlier Board Chair Fritz Sobanja said he wanted a 1 percent local option sales tax project update on the board’s agenda each meeting. Fenwick said he'd like to use that time to keep commissioners up to speed on the community center planning progress. Commissioner Jan Hall, who also has a history with the community center back to 1999, agreed it was time to start.

“I would like to see us move forward and start now and get things started for the community,” Hall said. “They voted on that and we need to get going.”

Commissioner Bruce Martinson said the board had been holding their horses on the project and now it’s time to turn the horses out of the corral. Commissioner Johnson moved to appoint Fenwick as lead person on the community center project and to allow Martinson to take over as the point person on county broadband discussions. The commissioners also agreed to take over some other of Fenwick’s committee responsibilities as he might request. He said he envisions the community center to consume a large share of his time over the next two years.

Hall said she thought Fenwick would be the right person for the project and added that there are a lot of pieces in the 1 percent sales tax puzzle.

“We need to take the first step and start with the Community Center and get it going.” She added,  “We have a lot of data on it … it’s difficult no matter how you do it but, we have to look at the process of elimination on the data and see what works well for the community, and keep moving.”

Fenwick said he would immediately start to work with Diane Booth and the community center board of trustees.