Park District Performing Arts Center is on its Way

Buffalo Grove officials amended a planned unit development and special use, allowing the Buffalo Grove Park District to convert the Congregation Beth Am property into a performing arts center. The park district will pay $3.7 million for the property.

The Buffalo Grove Park District’s plans to turn the Congregation Beth Am facility into a performing arts center got the green light Monday when village officials signed off on an amendment that will allow the facility to operate. 

The Village Board’s unanimous approval followed an 8-0 recommendation from the Plan Commission earlier this month. Parking was the only concerned raised by both boards. The Beth Am property includes 131 parking spaces, and it’s anticipated that the park district’s theater could require 200 parking spaces during performances.

Parking needs will be evaluated a year after the performing arts center opens to determine whether additional spaces are needed, officials decided. Dan Schimmel, the park district’s executive director, said the grassy area north of the building could also accommodate extra vehicles. Other options might include seeking permission to send overflow traffic to the Town Center lot across from the building, or using a shuttle to transport people to the facility from the lot at Mike Rylko Community Park, Schimmel said.

Beth Am will occupy the facility through June. The park district plans to begin renovations July 1, Schimmel said, and will open the performing arts center in 2014.

The building will feature a stage in a theater that will offer up to 500 seats. The dance classes now held at Emmerich Park will move to the new center, as will the ballroom dance and Zumba programs currently housed at the Alcott Center, Schimmel said. Classrooms in the renovated building might be used for cooking for ceramics classes or a fine arts studio, he said.

“We’re all very excited. It’s going to be a great addition to the community. We’re looking forward to it,” Park Board Commissioner Rick Drazner said after village officials backed the project.

As the Village Board went into a committee of the whole meeting, Schimmel, Drasner and other park district commissioners headed to the Alcott Center, where they were expected to approve the purchase of the Beth Am property. The park district will pay $3.7 million for the building and surrounding land, Schimmel said.


  • Congregation Beth Am Plans Relocation
  • Park District Shares Plans for Performing Arts Center
RELENTLESSCRITIC September 26, 2012 at 01:07 AM
And how do you know the number of people it benefits? Did you do a survey, or did you personally talk with all 44,000 BG residents and all the residents of surrounding communities before you posted that comment?
Wasn't commenting on those expressing their opinions, was noting the outrageous manner in which a single person brought the governing of VBG to its knees with how they expressed their opinions. Considering how the 'occurrences' and 'parties involved' made it to national outlets following some of the 'opinionating' it put VBG in an extremely poor light. It was real life reality TV with every video of the board meetings.
Erica Williams September 26, 2012 at 05:16 PM
A Dog Lover - Don't even try to talk to GH or RC or MT.
Or 'she whom cannot be named here' as she'll just take over the conversation and go off on a million different tangents!
Walter White September 26, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Gives me a great idea for a play. M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. She who shall not be named here can play "They who shall not be named". They are grisley monsters who talk big but are fake. And they tend to disrupt vilage board meetings, too.


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