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Developers Address Flooding, Neighbors' Questions About Hubble

About 100 residents attend a presentation of the plans for the redevelopment of the old Hubble school site.

Developers of the old Hubble school property on Saturday presented plans for the site’s redevelopment to an audience of about 100 residents at the in Wheaton, a few weeks before a public hearing and presentation to City Council.

Chad Jones, CFO of Bradford Equities, the development firm that purchased the 27-acre property from Community Unit School District 200 in June, said the company always tries to hear from neighbors of its developments early into a project to field questions and feedback.

The developer with the Wheaton Park District is proposing to build a Mariano's Fresh Market store on the corner of Naperville and Roosevelt roads and to preserve the gyms and athletic fields the park district uses for its programs year-round.

Steve Pagnotta, president and CEO of Bradford Equities explained how the property will look with the proposed 70,000-square-foot Mariano’s Fresh Market building, its parking lot and the rest of the property. He said Bradford has done a complete traffic study, which will be presented to City Council in February.

Derrick Martin, an engineer with V3 Infrastructures, addressed plans for stormwater management on the property that has a long history of flooding.  

“We should make it pretty clear the project is not going to make the flooding go away,” Martin said.

“Our goal is to meet the regulation required by the city and DuPage County and make any additional improvements we can that are practical,” Martin said.

Martin said the proposed detention component of the development will be a giant vault underneath the Mariano’s parking garage. The vault will collect rainwater and release it at a controlled rate, said Pagnotta.

The vault will be about 12 feet high and 45 feet wide, Martin said. It will have the capacity to hold 4.1 acre feet, or 1.3 million gallons of water, according to Jones.

“This is one of the few projects where I get to say not only are we providing this volume, but we are truly reducing runoff over existing conditions because we have less impervious area in our proposed plan than what’s currently there today… We have less runoff volume coming off the site.”

Mike Benard, executive director of the Wheaton Park District presented the park district’s plans for the project, including the eventual redevelopment of the athletic fields and the development of a formal garden park at the northwest corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Road.

The park district will repair the south wall of the 50,000-square-foot part of the school building that contains three gymnasiums, replace utility connections, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and create a new heating ventilation and air conditioning system, Benard said.

“We’re reusing a still very viable 50,000-square-foot chunk of this property,” he said.The park district has set aside $3 million to rehabilitate the building and $3 million to acquire its portion of the property, he said.

The use of the building and athletic fields will remain about the same, he said. Any ebbs and flows will come from the efforts of programming and staff, he said. There will be a total of 120 parking spots.

The two tennis courts will remain on the Central Park property, west of Main Street, which Bradford will swap the park district for the formal garden park at the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Road. The existing playground will be removed, Benard said. The existing building will eventually be redeveloped by Bradford.

As far as a timeline, Pagnotta said, "we would love to be underway by the early or late summer of this year, depending on the review process."

Representatives from Bradford, V3 Engineering and the Wheaton Park District will present to City Council at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 at , 303 Wesley St., Wheaton.

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