A day in Arlington Heights

In an effort to get to know the region better, WBEZ sent Adriana Cardona-Maguigad and Andrew Gill to Arlington Heights for a day to find a good story.

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  1. The first thing we thought of when we thought about Arlington Heights was the Arlington Park Race Track. We headed there first, though of course in the frigid winter weather there wasn't much happening.
  2. We're spending the day in Arlington Heights today. Not much happens at the racetrack until May, so we're heading over to the library.
  3. WBEZ's Facebook fans had suggested we visit the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Kathleen Knorr said, "The library here is fabulous, sorry to be nerdy but I have lived here for 8 months and my daughter and I love this library!! You can check out an iPad!!"
  4. We found the library easily in the central area of Arlington Heights, not far from the Metra station. And Kathleen was right, it is very impressive. Executive Director Jason Kuhl explained that they're actually in the midst of a major renovation right now.
  5. Arlington Heights Memorial Library Executive Director Jason Kuhl
  6. It was really overwhelming how much they're offering at the library now: conference rooms, computer training, video studios, genealogy support, a coffee bar and a fireplace. Here are a few photos from our tour:
  7. A technician installs a projector in a new conference room at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library
  8. The new Marketplace section of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library features a coffee bar.
  9. Library administrators demonstrate an interactive dollhouse in the children's area.
  10. The computer training room at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
  11. Not only is the Arlington Heights library fairly impressive, it also has a close relative to the Boys Town nanny goat.
  12. The Arlington Heights library is undergoing a major renovation.
  13. The library is no secret to area residents- even though the population of Arlington Heights is 75,000 they had 906,039 people pass through their doors last year.
  14. Though we hadn't heard anything about the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, the Park District had been in the news lately. There was a small issue of a matching grant they received and the fundraising referenda that were voted down to pay it. Here's the Daily Herald's original article on the issue:
  15. After seeing the somewhat extravagant additions to the library, we wondered why the parks, headquartered just two blocks from the library, were having such financial struggles.
  16. We stopped in at the park district headquarters, but weren't able to speak with Executive Director Steve Scholten. A park district official did tell us that the board would be deciding what to do about the grant at that night's meeting.
  17. We decided that our time would be well spent by visiting the park in question before leaving Arlington Heights.
  18. Camelot Park recently was awarded a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
  19. Camelot Park in Arlington Heights recently got a grant from the state, but the town has to match it.
  20. Camelot Park was in the midst of basketball practice when we stopped by, but that's hardly the extent of what's offered there.