OPINION: Supports new recreation center plan

Dear Editor,
I have been following with interest the plans of the Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District to build a new community recreation center. I had been part of the groups in the past that had held meetings toward such a facility.
So, I am glad that finally the park district is going ahead full steam with the project. Like many of you, I have been enjoying the facilities our parks provide, use the tennis courts in good weather and use both the Four Sisters Bike/Walking path, as well as the track around the junior tackle field for walking. My wife, Esther, enjoys Zumba, Qi Qong and other dance exercises. So we thank the park district for all that it does.
I heartily endorse this project.
Over the years, I have had the problem of not being able to play tennis or even walk for exercise when the weather is not conducive and have to go out of town for the same. I know of many friends who travel to DeKalb, Rockford, Sterling or other communities in the winter or when it rains. And that is not just for tennis. Some play pickleball elsewhere. Others go to malls for walking where the surface is not favorable for the joints.
The variety of services that are going to be offered by the new community center are very attractive. Many of these programs are under one roof, including some multi-generational activities, which will be used by many residents.
I hope the pool will have at least one end without steps so that it will be easier for people to just wade in. Wheelchairs can be moved in without the user having to get up and walk down. We have seen that in other places and found it very useful.
Even though it would be wonderful to have tennis courts here, I realize it may not be practical. But I will still support this center heartily.
Just walking on a good surface will be very helpful. Many people with medical conditions such as cardiac disease and diabetes will benefit from walking even 30 minutes a day. I know my friends who play pickle ball will be using the courts a lot.
Again, when the facilities are available, people will make use of the opportunity. “You build it, They will come.”
A facility such as this will be a valuable asset to our city and will attract people to come down and settle here, not just work here. It may even be a good selling point when we invite businesses to come to Rochelle.
So, let me conclude my endorsement, wishing our park district every success in its endeavor to build this community recreation center as it will enhance our reputation as a “A shining city on the hill.”
John M. Prabhakar. M.D.


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