‘Save the Velodrome’ Successful; Resurfacing to Start in July
By Press Release
(Northbrook, Ill., April 23) – In a bittersweet vote, the NorthbrookCycle Committee has chosen to suspend the 2004 season at the Ed RudolphNorthbrook Velodrome. Although this will mean a year without racing atthe historic venue, the decision paves the way for resurfacing to beginin July, rather than next September.
“It was a tough decision to make,” said Peter Janunas, NCC president.”Beginning the resurfacing project in July allows us to complete the projectbefore winter sets in. With the unpredictable Chicago weather, there wasa fear that beginning the project in September may have meant jeopardizingthe start of the 2005 season.”
While he recognizes that the Chicago-area cycling community may bedisappointed in the choice, Janunas said he thinks they’ll understand.”We are now confident that resurfacing will happen,” he said. “So eventhough we may lose a year, we’ll be back in 2005 on a brand-new track,ready to race faster than ever.”
Supporters of the Velodrome have raised nearly $230,000 since Augustof last year. It was then that the Northbrook Park District, which ownsthe Velodrome, announced that unless improvements were made the track mayshut down permanently. The Park District charged the cycling communitywith raising half the funds needed, and the response from cyclists fromacross the country solidified the future of the facility.
“The Park District has received a bid for the improvements project,”Janunas said. “The acceptance vote will be May 26, and it appears we haveraised our half of the needed funds. But because of other community events,work cannot begin until after July 4, and we thought it best to suspendracing to ensure the project starts as quickly as possible.”
A dedicated group of volunteers began the arduous task of attemptingto patch the track in the beginning of April, a process Janunas said hewas thankful for. “Ultimately, though, their efforts may not have beenenough; the track is in such bad shape,” he said. “Instead, we can beginanew and allow the project to go ahead full steam.”
Planning is already underway to determine an alternate venue for DistrictChampionship and other important events normally on the Northbrook calendar.The NCC will continue to work with the Park District as the project commences,ensuring that the facility will be poised for a long and successful lifeonce improvements are made.