Nowell Park Recreation Center

Designing to Deliver on a Community Referendum
Joliet, Illinois

A new recreation center for the under-served east side of the Joliet, Illinois, community had been a dream for a long time. Our team designed a 30,677-square-foot facility, including a 3,500-square-foot fitness center with restrooms and lockers, a preschool room, and a two-court basketball/volleyball fieldhouse with a two-lane walking/jogging track.


basketball/volleyball courts


lane walking/jogging track


square-foot fitness center


multipurpose rooms

The design team had to overcome a number of challenges to meet project deadlines and budgetary constraints, including an executive director leadership change and the need for archaeological and historical review with the Illinois Historical Preservation Agency in order to demolish a 1920s bathhouse on the site. Additionally, our team had to navigate soil testing for bedrock, utility line extensions for water and sanitary connections, and a traffic study since the park is adjacent to a state road. We also provided a floodplain report to FEMA since the site is adjacent to Mill Creek.

A pre-engineered building system was selected to provide a cost-effective solution. Benefits included:

  • The high R-value of the metal wall and roof panels along with airtightness and superior moisture control provided a quality building envelope
  • Reduced construction time since the erection time is faster
  • Large clear spans
  • Flexibility of expansion
  • High-quality control since the building components are manufactured in a factory under controlled conditions
  • Single-source responsibility for all building components and accessories

Our site improvements also included an 82-car parking area and stormwater retention basins. 

Our services included architecture; interior design; landscape architecture; structural; mechanical, electrical, plumbing; fire protection; security and technology.  


Joliet Park District, Joliet, IL

Square Footage

30,677 SF


$8.2 million


  • Architecture
  • Engineering


  • Community Facilities
  • Health and Wellness


  • Midwest

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