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Mokena Park District’s new program center opens

Teacher Sue Pickham greets three-year-olds inher early childhood
program new MokenPark District Program Center. | Susan DeMar Lafferty~Sun-Times Media

Teacher Sue Pickham greets three-year-olds into her early childhood program in the new Mokena Park District Program Center. | Susan DeMar Lafferty~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 25, 2013 6:13AM



Five months after they broke ground, Mokena Community Park District preschoolers were called into action again Monday to cut the ribbon on their new program center in Main Park, 10925 LaPorte Road.

Students moved into the facility when programs started earlier this month and were enjoying their new space, which they will share with other park district programs.

The new 4,300-square-foot, single-story building with five rooms replaces the outdated, two-story Cady Building, which was not handicapped accessible. That building, adjacent to the new center, will be used for storage.

Armed with small scissors and unsure what to do next, many preschoolers continued cutting away at the ribbon as if they were in a craft class.

Park district board president Dennis Badgon thanked everyone for working so hard on “another facility that enhances the community.”

It cost $585,000 and was financed with cash on hand and the refinancing of existing bonds — no tax increase, he said.

“It’s a first-class facility,” he said. “I hope you enjoy it.”

The new center is “for young and old,” park district executive director Jim Romanek said.

It includes room to expand the preschool program — now contained in one of two multipurpose rooms — an early childhood education room, an art room, and a mirrored room for dance, karate and aerobics classes.

As he munched on a celebratory cookie before heading into his early childhood class, 3-year-old Joshua Kurcab said he liked cutting the ribbon on his new school and also likes his class.

“It’s like a party every day,” he said.



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