Northbrook – December 16, 2020 – On Monday, November 16, after months of due diligence by the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) Board of Directors and staff, NSSRA Board approved construction bids for renovation. With the approved renovation bids, construction on the Highland Park facility will begin by the end of the year, and renovations are scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2021!
“We are enthusiastic to begin this phase of a multi-year journey. We have been envisioning how this facility will change the lives of so many individuals, and now we are one step closer to making it a reality,” said Craig Culp, NSSRA Executive Director. The renovation project will include a variety of updated participant spaces, which include a courtyard, participant lounge, four multipurpose rooms, fully accessible washrooms, a library, a teaching kitchen, along with updated offices, on-site storage, and a great room. “We are going from zero square feet of programming space to approximately 16,000 square feet of programming space … the expansion and variety of dedicated space in NSSRA’s new building will transform program offerings for decades to come,” said Culp.
When the renovated building is completed in the fall of 2021, NSSRA will be able to expand program offerings, reduce waitlists, and provide a home for its year-round adult day programs, including Enriched Lifestyles for Adults (ELA). “Our adult day program has developed over the years to bring tremendous opportunities to our participants. Now that we have a permanent home, we will have the opportunity to grow this area which will support our community that much more,” said Becca Luecke, NSSRA Recreation Manager.
NSSRA purchased the building, formerly Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism, in August 2019, ending a six-year search for a new facility. Set back on Lake Cook Road near the Edens Expressway, the 30,000 square foot facility sits on a 5.6-acre campus.
Roughly half of $3.65M in funds needed to purchase Lakeside came from a capital reserve account created in 2013 when NSSRA Board of Directors, representing 13 partner agencies, identified the need for a new facility. The remaining finances needed were provided thanks to a significant contribution of $600,000 from the NSSRA Foundation, and a generous $1.15M gift from the Slotnick Family of Northbrook, in memory of Mitchell L. Slotnick. NSSRA partner agencies will share about $3M of the cost of renovating the facility. NSSRA Foundation has an ongoing campaign, “A Place to Belong,” to raise the remaining $2.2M.
NSSRA is partnered with the Park Districts of Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Northfield, Wilmette, and Winnetka; the Cities of Highwood and Lake Forest; and the Village of Riverwoods.