It will be money well spent if, as expected, the Brookfield Village Board approves funds for a feasibility study for a community recreation center in town.
That vote is expected this month and the study would come back as soon as spring 2023. The $80,000 cost would go toward a wide-ranging inquiry into public attitudes toward such a project, what services might be included, how programs would be funded by users and taxpayers, how the overall project might be paid for, and the size of a proposed structure.
What struck us during a recent Committee of the Whole discussion about the concept of such a center was the enthusiasm of board members to explore this and the clarity expressed about the lack of such a facility being an “embarrassment” for a community as active and involved as Brookfield.
That enthusiasm is stoked by the energy and repeated successes that Stevie Ferrrari has brought to the Brookfield Parks and Recreation Department in recent years. She is a passionate advocate for recreation services and community building events that serve all ages and needs in the village.
It is not lost on anyone that cramming so many of the rec programs into the small, invisible basement of village hall is a true reflection of how rec services have been historically undervalued in Brookfield.
While we get the argument that it is inconvenient for the rec department to partner with other taxing bodies, the schools especially, and to house a range of semi-nomadic programs, we hope the feasibility study will not overlook the value of sharing some spaces from both a cost and access basis.
We are not always persuaded by arguments that a town is the only one in an area failing to provide a service. But it is compelling to see the list of neighboring communities that offer the amenity of a rec center while Brookfield does without. It’s also worth observing the great range in square footage and focus of these other facilities. This study needs to tell Brookfield what it most needs, how big it needs to be built, and how we can fund it.
Wilson Gregory and friends
On page 1 and spread across two pages inside today’s Landmark is a wonderful story of love and connection in Riverside. Three local teens have spent their summer planning and then pulling off a wonderful event to honor and celebrate Wilson Gregory, a 10- year-old fellow dealing with a resurgent cancer.
Everyone in this story is worthy of notice.
Annalisa Cinkay, 19, is a lifeguard at the Riverside Swim Club. She has known the Gregory family as a babysitter and has come to admire and love young Wilson. She describes him in the most caring and knowing terms.
She teamed up with Charlie Buh, also 19, and Hayden Marrs, 16, to plan a day of fun and fundraising, centering on Gregory. Wiffle ball, pie-throwing, water balloon tossing, dunk tanks, and raffles entertained more than 200 participants and raised nearly $10,000 for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
Special people created a special day that reflects fully the community values of this village.