Neighborly Design

By Daniel Atilano and Brian Meade

In November 2010, a fire destroyed a maintenance facility and garage belonging to the park district in Glenview, Ill. Built in 1909, the 14,000-square-foot building was operated by the park district since 1953. In addition to housing approximately 30 full- and part-time members of the maintenance staff, including plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, pool-maintenance staff, and custodians, the building included a welding shop, carpentry shop, offices, a greenhouse, and storage for forklifts and other equipment.

Loss of the maintenance facility greatly impacted the operations of the district, which is one of the state’s largest and serves approximately 50,000 residents in a suburban area north of Chicago. With the loss of space, the district’s other maintenance facility became crowded and inefficient, leading to longer response times and extra expenditures. It was clear that a replacement facility was needed. In 2013, the district selected the consulting firm of Dewberry to design a new building on the same site. The project budget of $3,662,287 was based on a combination of the insurance settlement and impact fees paid by developers.

Ongoing Community Engagement
The park district’s mission focuses on safety, professionalism, fiscal responsibility, stewardship, public involvement, and partnership. These attributes helped shape the planning and design of the new maintenance facility from the start. In particular, the district had a long-held practice of involving the community in the development of all capital projects. Given the facility’s location within a residential area, local residents were understandably concerned about the new building’s size and location as well as its appearance.

The park district was diligent in conducting a transparent planning process that offered many opportunities for public input. Throughout the fall of 2014, the planning team provided presentations and updates at numerous district board meetings, and also presented its plans to the Village Plan Commission, the Appearance Commission, and the Glenview Board of Trustees. The district also held a meeting with surrounding residents to review strategies to screen the building, maintenance yard, and site lighting to be sure that concerns were addressed. With feedback from the various boards and commissions, as well as early public input, the team adjusted the design and successfully resubmitted the plans in early 2015. Throughout design and construction, the district also kept residents informed through seasonal brochures, email announcements, the district website, and stories on local news outlets.

A Good Neighbor
The new 10,416-square-foot building, which opened in 2016, features office and storage space along with a 6,800-square-foot workshop for carpentry and welding, as well as an area for indoor vehicle parking, large-equipment storage, and a vehicle wash bay. The office and storage area includes five storage rooms, offices, a locker room, a kitchenette, and a large multipurpose space for meetings and breaks. The project, known as the Glenview Park District Park and Facility Services East building, also includes a new approach drive, parking, and new fencing.

With the public’s feedback in mind, the design team worked carefully to minimize the impact of the new building on the neighborhood, including the maintenance yard, parking, and lighting. The new building was set into the northwest corner of the site, and a new and safer access drive was created. Site design measures avoided cutting old-growth trees and preserved green space on the property. Landscaping and natural cedar fencing screened the area from adjacent residences. The natural setting inspired the use of wood elements in both the building and the screening. The building is fully ADA-accessible.


Creative Sustainability
In keeping with the district’s mission of stewardship and fiscal responsibility, the building was designed to minimize water and energy usage and incorporate sustainable materials and operating strategies. Highlights include:

Sustainable Site Features

  • Exterior lighting design that reduces light pollution from the building and site
  • Landscape design that incorporates drought-tolerant native and adapted species intended to provide four-season interest
  • Design that minimizes water use for irrigation, with hose bibs provided to supply water in times of drought
  • A detention basin and rain garden that help manage stormwater runoff
  • Landscaping behind the building that functions as a small-scale tree nursery

Water And Energy Efficiency

  • Water-conserving plumbing fixtures that reduce overall water use, including dual-flush toilets and low-flow shower heads and faucets
  • A design that meets the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, and incorporates 100-percent LED lighting, daylight controls with natural daylighting throughout, networked web-accessible lighting controls, hi-lo parking lot lighting via motion sensors, and vacancy-operation motion sensors
  • A primary staff corridor with six skylights that bring natural light into the middle of the building, saving energy during the day
  • Air-handling units that exceed a minimum Energy Efficient Ratio of 11 with ratings of 15.2 and 12
  • A 96-percent efficient gas-fired water heater

Indoor Air Quality

  • Lighting systems that offer a high level of controllability
  • A design, including the east-west building orientation and narrow plan, that maximizes daylighting and views to the outdoors
  • Along the southeast corner, a wood-slat screen and deep roof overhang that provide glare control

Material And Resource Features

  • Many materials that were manufactured within 500 miles of the site
  • Interior finishes that contain high levels of recycled content
  • The north elevation that features a 128-foot-long Kalwall translucent clerestory system that reduces heating and cooling loads by controlling solar-heat gain and refracts sunlight to provide balanced, glare-free light
  • More than 60 percent of the building’s exterior that is clad in locally manufactured fiber cement panels with a 15-year finish warranty to reduce the need for repainting
  • ·Exterior panels that are also rated 0 on the flame-spread index and are impermeable to insects

Award-Winning Design
The Glenview Park District Park and Facility Services East building dedication was attended by public officials as well as many local residents, who toured the new facility and learned firsthand about the efficient footprint and many sustainable measures. Completed on schedule and within the budget, the facility also earned two prominent awards that recognized the efforts of the Glenview Park District and the team of Dewberry and Frederick Quinn Corporation, which served as construction manager. The Association of Licensed Architects honored the project with a 2016 Gold Award, and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association presented the project with its 2016 Outstanding Facility & Park Award, recognizing exceptional and unique achievements in design and development.

“This facility was truly a collaboration between the park district, board members, staff, residents, and the project team,” says James Warnstedt, superintendent of Park & Facility Services. “Because of its location within a neighborhood setting, design sensitivity and resident feedback was important to the process.”

Daniel Atilano, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a principal with Dewberry. Reach him at

Brian Meade, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is an associate principal and design director at Dewberry. Reach him at