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FHSD works with Township, Park District to provide community recreation facility

September 24, 2018

An improved Anderson Parks RecPlex could soon be a reality through the collaborative efforts of Forest Hills School District, Anderson Township and the Anderson Park District.

Township Trustees are in the process of negotiating the terms of a purchase and sale agreement with the Beech Acres Parenting Center to acquire the RecPlex and approximately 6.8 acres of surrounding property.  Once acquired, the Township will help improve the facility and lease it to the Anderson Park District for the continued operation of its recreational programs.

During its Sept. 24 meeting, the Forest Hills School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to contribute $1 million toward the modernization of The Anderson Park and Recreation RecPlex. To do this, the district will redirect approximately 25 percent of its share of new revenue generated from a TIF on the Stonecrest Senior Living development, adjacent to the RecPlex.  Forest Hills’ contribution will be combined with approximately $2 million from the Township’s portion of the Stonecrest TIF revenue to fund improvements to the RecPlex.  

“We’re excited to have this opportunity to work with the Park Commissioners to secure an indoor recreational facility for our community and the School Board’s collaboration is an integral part of the success of the project,” said Township Trustee President Josh Gerth.  “Collaboration with both the parks and schools has been a priority of the Board of Trustees and the RecPlex project provides the perfect opportunity for all three entities to bring their resources to the table.”  

Jim Frooman, Forest Hills Board president, agreed.

“Many benefits may be derived from this type of development, especially for students who participate in Park District programs,” said Frooman.  “Without the TIF agreement, the RecPlex renovation would not be possible and the district is proud to be a part of partnerships that enhance our community.  Under this agreement, the property can be developed to continue supporting local recreation programs. We are excited that our contribution will allow the Anderson Park District to continue providing much needed extracurricular programming and services for Forest Hills students.”

According to Park Commission President Angie Stocker, acquiring an indoor recreational facility has been a long-term goal of the Park District.

“The Park District strives to provide quality parks, facilities and programs,” Stocker said.  “We look forward to providing a better experience for the community in the modernized RecPlex.”

Gerth and Stocker also expressed appreciation to Beech Acres Parenting Center for working with both entities on the acquisition of the RecPlex and surrounding property and for leasing the building to the Park District since 1990. 

“The community has been the benefactor of a long-standing relationship between the Park District and Beech Acres Parenting Center.  We are grateful for their partnership,” noted Stocker.