KANKAKEE—Governor George H. Ryan today joined local officials from the Kankakee community to break ground on a new aquatic center and also announced funding for an ice rink and fitness center. $12.5 million in Illinois FIRST funds will be used to finance the projects, $5.9 million for the aquatic center and $6.6 million for the new ice rink.
“What we are doing here today, we have done in communities all across Illinois, thanks to Illinois FIRST,” Governor Ryan said. “This community has gone without an outdoor swimming facility since closing its only outdoor public pool in 1989.”
The Kankakee Valley Park District received a $5.9 million dollar Illinois FIRST grant to build the new aquatic facility, which will be located at River Road Park.
The aquatic center will be able to serve up to 1500 visitors at a time, and because of its size and uniqueness it is expected to attract people from throughout Kankakee and Iroquois counties. The aquatic center will offer a large pool area with zero depth entry, colorful fountains and sprays, water slides, sand play areas, grass sunning areas, shaded canopies and a concession and picnic area.
Governor Ryan also announced a $6.6 million Illinois FIRST grant will be used for a new Kankakee Valley Park District Ice Rink and Fitness Center to be built near the Kankakee Community College.
“The Kankakee community will have the ability to form recreational hockey leagues, for both children and adults, and provide a location for figure-skating or speed skating,” Governor Ryan said. “Because this new facility will be located adjacent to the Community College, college students will be able to use a new, state of the art facility as well.”
The facility will include; one sheet of ice, locker rooms, laundry facilities, maintenance storage area, score board, ticket office, concession area and a 2000 square foot fitness center.