Park District sets contingency plans for strike: Washington Park, South Shore Cultural Center to remain open with limited hours

The Washington Park fieldhouse, 5531 S. King Drive. (Herald staff photo)

HERALD STAFF REPORT

A limited number of fieldhouses are to remain open in the event of a strike by 2,400 Chicago Park District workers — scheduled to begin on Thursday, Oct. 17 — but most scheduled classes, programs and events will be cancelled until further notice.

In the event of a strike, drop-in and low-organized activities, open gym and fitness center usage will continue in the fieldhouses at Washington Park, 5531 S. King Drive, and the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive, on weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

A strike would impact Park District landscape maintenance, waste removal and security. Room rentals and specialty programs would be cancelled. Non-staffed parks, the lakefront, playgrounds and nature areas will remain open as usual. All fieldhouses would be closed on weekends.

“This contingency plan is the Chicago Park District’s best effort to provide resources in the event of a work stoppage by SEIU Local 73 employees,” said General Superintendent Michael Kelly in a statement. “The Park District remains committed to the communities we serve and putting Chicago’s children first.”

herald@hpherald.com