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Fort Hill Activity Center Wins Top Honors

Within ten days, Naperville Park District’s Fort Hill Activity Center will receive top honors from two industry associations for its outstanding design and development.

 On January 9 at its 2018 Awards Luncheon, the Fox Valley Branch of the American Public Works Association (APWA) announced that Fort Hill Activity Center was selected as the Public Works Project of the Year in the category, “Structures – $5 Million to $25 Million.”  The facility’s architectural firm, Williams Architects, submitted the nomination.

Naperville Park District’s Board President Mike Reilly and Director of Planning Eric Shutes attended today’s award presentation.

At the APWA Awards in Aurora, Jan. 9, 2018. From L to R: Eric Shutes – NPD, Michelle Lipinski – AWPA, Mike Reilly – NPD Board President, Steve Collins – Wight Construction, Karen Lellios – Williams Architects, Frank Parisi – Williams Architects

“We are proud that Fort Hill Activity Center was recognized by a public works association as an excellent facility,” said Eric Shutes. “Part of the APWA’s mission is to ‘increase awareness of the vital role of public works in everyday life.’ Fort Hill Activity Center is a great example of the value of a public building in enriching the lives of people every day.”

On January 19 at its annual conference, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) will recognize Fort Hill Activity Center as the Overall Winner of the Outstanding Facility and Parks Award. In a letter to the Naperville Park District, IPRA officials explained that this award “recognizes public agencies for their exceptional and unique achievements in design and development.”

“We are thrilled that Fort Hill Activity Center was chosen as the overall winner for this competitive award,” said Executive Director Ray McGury. “We have heard much positive feedback from our users about the beauty, functionality, and impact of this building. We are grateful that with support from Naperville taxpayers, we were able to design and construct this facility that benefits our community and also serves as a model for other park districts across the state.”

Planned by the Naperville Park District after an extended period of gathering community input, Fort Hill Activity Center helps meet a long-standing need for indoor recreation in Naperville. Long-range capital planning, conservative financial stewardship of tax dollars and securing multiple grants and partnerships allowed the Park District to build a facility with flexible, attractive recreation spaces that can host a variety of activities. The building’s sustainable features, such as the solar panels, daylighting, an efficient HVAC system, and permeable pavers will lead to cumulative environmental benefits and cost savings. Financially self-sustaining in its first year, the Activity Center is a friendly, community space to enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy a healthier lifestyle year-round. 

The project architect was Williams Architects and the construction manager was Wight Construction.


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Looking for an opportunity to have a positive impact on people’s lives while building a fun and dynamic career? Consider the Naperville Park District! It takes all kinds of skills, knowledge and talent to serve the recreation needs of the Naperville community. If you’re passionate about the outdoors, staying active, having fun and encouraging others to do the same, then check out our part-time and full-time career opportunities.


Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
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