CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 15, 2017. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District leadership announced today new funding to support the construction of the indoor track facility at Gately Park, located at 744 E 103rd St. The Gately Indoor Track & Field Facility will enhance recreational opportunities in Chicago’s Pullman and Roseland communities and surrounding neighborhoods. This will be the first-ever public dedicated indoor track and field facility in Chicago with the ability to support athletic programs, host national intercollegiate events and serve as one of the first neighborhood campuses for After School Matters.
“The indoor track at Gately Park will create much-needed opportunities for the Pullman and Roseland communities to stay safe, to stay engaged and to stay on track to a brighter future,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I want to thank Exelon Corporation and After School Matters for their commitment to Chicago. It is because of partnerships with organizations like these that we are able make Harold Washington’s dream a reality and provide the city with the first-ever public indoor track in the city. With the availability of year-round training, student athletes will be able to better compete for and earn college scholarships.”
The indoor park will be approximately 134,000 square feet and will feature the area’s first hydraulically banked 200-meter track. Additional facilities include an 8-lane track with a full range of track and field event capabilities including long jump, high jump, a dedicated throwing cage, eight sprint lanes and a warm up area. There will be seating capacity of 3,500 with supporting amenities such as a meet management control room, concessions, multipurpose rooms and locker rooms.
Contributions from the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, as well as generous donations both from Mellody Hobson and the George Lucas Family Foundation on behalf of After School Matters and from the Exelon Corporation will bring this project to fruition in August 2019.
Exelon is committed to giving back to a city that not only houses our headquarters, but is home to thousands of Exelon and ComEd employees,” said Exelon CEO Chris Crane. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact that the new and improved Gately Park will have on the health, safety and wellbeing of our community thanks to Mayor Emmanuel and the Chicago Park District.”
“This announcement is a crucial part of After School Matters’ longer-term growth strategy of replicating our model of dedicated teen programming space in additional Chicago neighborhoods, particularly in underserved communities,” said Mary Ellen Caron, After School Matters’ Chief Executive Officer. “Our work is far from complete, and it is only thanks to the continued dedication of our entire community of supporters that we will be able to provide the opportunities that Chicago’s teens need and deserve. What is most exciting to me is that this space will be intentionally designed for teenagers to learn, grow, and discover their potential in a safe and supportive environment.”
The Gately facility is an unprecedented partnership between the Park District and After School Matters to provide mentoring and job-training to the neighborhood youth. Within a 5-mile radius of Gately, there are over 167,000 youth ages 19 years and younger. After School Matters currently delivers more than 1,200 after-school and summer programs that serve nearly 16,000 teens each year in schools, parks, libraries and community organizations across 69 of Chicago’s 77 community areas.
The state-of-the-art facility will operate year round as a high quality training and competition center. In addition to track, sports offered will include: volleyball; football; field activities; baseball; basketball; outdoor soccer; and lacrosse. In addition to sporting events and programs, non-sport events are also expected to be held throughout the year.
“At the Chicago Park District, we put children and their health and safety first,” said Chicago Park District CEO & Superintendent Michael P. Kelly. “With the Mayor’s support, this new modern facility will help us promote healthy and active lifestyles among our youth and adults, and make our parks a trusted resource for Chicago area runners all year round.”
Gately Park also provides Chicago Public School athletes with direct access to an indoor training facility in the city. These students currently have to travel outside the city limits to Proviso West High School in Maywood to participate in indoor competitive track and field events. There are currently 23 outdoor running tracks located in parks across the city.
Regardless of weather, Gately Park will operate year round as a high quality training and competition center. The facility will be LEED certified and is intended to serve local residents as a year-round community center for wellness and culture and after school programming.
This announcement was first announced as a key component of Building on Burnham, the Mayor’s comprehensive plan to invest in the Lakefront, the Chicago River, natural areas and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods across the city. The Mayor began the successful expansion of Chicago’s park system in his first mayoral term, which has already added 750 acres of new parkland, 327 new playgrounds and more than $800 million in capital investment from neighborhoods and private sources.