Zoning amendments still have to be adopted, but preliminary plans for the new Robert Crown Center were reviewed by Evanston’s Design and Project Review Committee Wednesday.

Wednesday’s discussion touched on the number of parking stalls and traffic flow for cars, bikes and pedestrians.  

The design shows room for 225 cars, compared to the current 150 spaces. There was also discussion about  providing well-marked paths for bikes and pedestrians as they move around the fields and facilities.

The site plan for the redeveloped park.

Vice Chair Scott Mangum suggested a pathway similar to the one at James Park to connect fields and as an exercise loop. Committee Chair Johanna Leonard urged Project Manager Brian Foote to find a way to provide better access to the bathroom for those using the tennis courts.

There were some questions about what kind of turf would be used on the soccer fields and what kind of ice production system will be installed.  Those decisions have not yet been made.

The 17 acre park is being completely re-designed at a projected cost of $46 million. Fundraising continues to close the gap between what the city will pay and the final bill. So far about $10 million of a projected $15 million in private donations has been raised.

The facility will have twice the footprint of the current building. It will house two NHL sized hockey sheets, a library, fitness center and community space.

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  1. Crown interior

    I didn’t attend any meetings…but was wondering, since we’ve used the facility for private parties… will people be able to host private skating and broomball parties …and be able to afford them, if there is no studio rink?……Using rink board sections does not make for privacy.  So if there are 2-3 parties on the large surface…and the skating one needs clean ice, and the broomball one needs torn-up ice, wouldn’t that be a problem?  Also…how would private clinics and instruction (for hockey, mainly) be handled on a huge surface?   Are us folks going to need to be going to Skokie or Wilmette to use their small sheets?…at smaller prices?  And have total privacy?    I guess we should have gone to planning meetings, but generally, nobody listens to patrons, anyway.  What the city/planners want, is always what happens…even when patrons bring up important issues.

    1. planning sessions

      The planning sessions were great. Unfortunate you couldn’t make it. The designers listened to and incorporated a variety of ideas from a diverse audience of users and neighbors of the current facility.

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