A new program facility being constructed in O’Fallon’s Civic Park will be named the Krekel Civic Center, the O’Fallon City Council decided at its Jan. 11 work session.
The name chosen for the building honors Nicholas Krekel, the city’s founder.
Parks and Recreation Director Cindy Springer told the council, at its Jan. 11 work session, that city staff had internal conversations as well as discussions with people outside the city to compile a list of possible names for the facility. The list was narrowed down to five possible options: Krekel Commons or Center, George Mussman Hall, The Millpond, Jessup Junction and John O’Fallon Hall.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Board recommended the facility be named the John O’Fallon Event Center; however, the city council decided to go in a different direction.
During discussion on the matter, Mayor Bill Hennessy said he preferred that the name include Jessup to honor former city alderman Raleigh Jessup.
Councilmember Jeff Kuehn said he’d like to see the building named after Krekel.
“Well, since it’s in close proximity to the Krekel House, my preference would be to lean more toward something with Krekel in it, whether it’s Krekel Commons, Krekel Center or Krekel Civic Center, maybe something like that,” Kuehn said.
Jim Frain, a member of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, told the council that he and other members also would like to see the building named after Krekel.
“I feel like this part of town, from what I’ve learned … this is Krekel country,” Frain said.
A motion made by Councilmember Jeff Schwentker [Ward 4] to name the future program facility Jessup Civic Center failed. The council then approved a motion to name the building Krekel Civic Center.
The facility is expected to open in September. During a construction update at the work session, the council heard that the foundation has been laid and structural steel for the building is to be delivered this month.
In addition to construction of the Krekel Civic Center, O’Fallon also is making improvements to Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center located in Civic Park. Those improvements include a new lazy river and spray pad features, a new bathhouse and concession building and modifications to the existing pool.
Construction work is underway on the lazy river and masonry walls currently are being laid in the bathhouse and concessions building, Cory Bextermueller of Navigate Building Solutions, told the council. Construction on Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center is expected to be completed by May.