New Lenox, Illinois
|Village of New Lenox|
|Nickname: Home of Proud Americans|
|Area||15.68 sq mi (40.61 km2)|
|- land||15.66 sq mi (41 km2)|
|- water||0.02 sq mi (0 km2), 0.13%|
|Density||2,424.9 / sq mi (936.3 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code||815 and 779|
New Lenox is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. The village population was 24,394 as of 2010. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning forecasts New Lenox will have a population of 90,652 in 2030.
New Lenox is located approximately 36 miles southwest of downtown Chicago at  According to the 2010 census, New Lenox has a total area of 15.683 square miles (40.62 km2), of which 15.66 square miles (40.56 km2) (or 99.85%) is land and 0.023 square miles (0.06 km2) (or 0.15%) is water.(41.508251, -87.970597).
What is now the Village of New Lenox was first settled in the late 1820s, in the area of Gougar crossing (Route 30 and Gougar Road) and it was called VanHorne Point. New Lenox Township was established when Will County was created in 1852 with the building of the Rock Island Railroad between Chicago and Rock Island, Illinois. Originally named Tracey in honor of the general superintendent of the Rock Island Railroad. Mr. Tracy later requested that the community be renamed. The first supervisor of the Rock Island Railway for New Lenox Township, John Van Duser, named the Township New Lenox from the town Lenox, New York, which was Van Duser's hometown. In 1863, the name for the new settlement officially became New Lenox Township.
New Lenox was not officially created until October 4, 1946. In 1945, 46 community leaders, F. Carlton Cole, Walter Baers and others reasoned that the community should be incorporated. Recognizing the benefits and the potential growth of the area, a community vote in the spring of 1946 resulted in the authorization for the creation of the Village of New Lenox. On October 4, 1946, the State of Illinois officially certified that New Lenox was legally organized and incorporated as a Village in the State of Illinois.
New Lenox is known as "The Home of Proud Americans" which exemplifies the quality of life in the community.
As of the census of 2010, there were 24,394 people, 8,000 households, and 6,547 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,424.9 people per square mile (936.3/km²). There were 8,244 housing units at an average density of 819.5 per square mile (316.4/km²).
The racial makeup of the village was 96.2% White, 0.8% Asian, 0.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.
There were 8,000 households out of which 45.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.8% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 8.2 were non-families. 15.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.41.
The median income for a household in the village was $88,778 and the median income for a family was $97,752 
The median home value in the village as of the first quarter of 2011 is $245,100.
The village operates under the Village form of local government. The Council-Trustees/Mayor form of government is followed and utilizes a village administrator to perform chief administrative duties. The current mayor is Tim Baldermann and the current village administrator is Kurt Carroll. The six member board of trustees and mayor are elected in an election at large on a four-year staggered basis, with the mayor elected to that specific office by the voters. The current board:
Annette Bowden, David Butterfield, Douglas Finnegan, Emily Johnson, Keith Madsen, and David Smith.
The village's board of trustees is responsible for setting village policy, enacting ordinances and resolutions for the proper governing of the village, as well as for overseeing the proper planning of the village. The village clerk is an appointed position and is responsible for the proper keeping of all official documents of the village. As well, the position is the local election official, and is responsible for in-person absentee voting, as well as the duties of setting the ballot for all local elections. As chief administrative officer, the village administrator is responsible for the enforcement of all village codes and ordinances, as well as recommending employee hiring to the mayor and board of trustees. The village administrator also supervises all village departmental operations.
In 2007, the village governmental operations were moved to the new New Lenox Village Hall at 1 Veterans Parkway. Upon occupying this new building of approximately 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2), the old Village Hall which was approximately 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) was taken over by the New Lenox Police Department . The main level of the building which formerly housed the village operations was remodeled for police use.
On June 8, 2010, the New Lenox was officially designated as the 9th “Safe Community” in the United States. This prestigious designation is bestowed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Safety Council (NSC). The NSC serves as the International Safe Communities Affiliate Support and Certifying Center for the United States.
The International Safe Communities movement started over twenty years ago in Sweden. Two hundred communities in 24 countries are currently part of the Safe Communities International Network. To firmly establish and foster a culture of safety throughout the United States, the NSC launched the Safe Communities America initiative in 2007. Based on the WHO International Safe Communities model, this program promotes community-based injury prevention and seeks to engage a broad range of individuals and organizations to work together in a coordinated and collaborative fashion.
On January 10, 2012, it was announced that New Lenox was going to put up twelve suicide prevention signs along railroad tracks in their village. They were doing this because the railroads tracks are a common place to commit suicide, in which they are trying to prevent this from happening.
Local school districts
New Lenox School District 122
New Lenox School District 122 provides primary education services to students in grades kindergarten through 8. The superintendent is Dr. Michael Sass. The student body is drawn primarily from New Lenox in Will County and surrounding areas.
- Tyler Elementary School
- Bentley Elementary School
- Haines Elementary School
- Nelson Prairie Elementary School
- Nelson Ridge Elementary School
- Oster-Oakview Elementary School
- Spencer Crossing Elementary School
- Spencer Pointe Elementary School
- St. Jude School (K-8)
- Alex M. Martino Junior High School
- Liberty Junior High School
- St. Jude School
Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210
Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 was organized in 1951. Today, Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 serves the communities of New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, and small portions of Tinley Park and Orland Park. There are four comprehensive high schools within the district: Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North, and Lincoln-Way West. Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way West are located in New Lenox; Lincoln-Way East and Lincoln-Way North are located in Frankfort.
Providence Catholic High School
Providence Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic secondary school located in New Lenox. Providence Catholic is a private school run by the Order of Saint Augustine. The president of Providence is Father Richard McGrath, OSA, with Mr. Don Sebestyen as its principal. Located right on historic Lincoln Highway (also part of U.S. Highway 30), the school is perhaps best known throughout the area for its strong academics, football program, and wrestling program. It is also known as one of the few Catholic schools in Illinois that has a self–imposed enrollment limit.
Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College "JJC", the nation’s first public community college, offers pre-baccalaureate programs for students planning to transfer to a four-year university. New Lenox is within the JJC district and residents are eligible for in-district tuition and fees. JJC has a local Satellite Campus at Lincoln-Way Central High School offering courses to local residents.
Since 1895, Silver Cross Hospital has grown from a 33-bed, two-story hospital into an impressive healthcare network featuring a team of more than 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers. Renowned for accreditations and awards, Silver Cross is the only hospital in Illinois, and only one of four in the nation, to be named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation for the past 7 consecutive years. To keep pace with the growing population and ensure quality healthcare for the next century, Silver Cross has built a $400 million state-of-the-art hospital just off of U.S. Route 6 nearby the new I-355 extension in New Lenox; replacing their Joliet location on February 26, 2012. The replacement hospital brings services from Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) – the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in the Nation, and the University of Chicago Medical Center. The 289-patient rooms will be private and able to accommodate today’s medical technology, ultimately reducing unnecessary transfers and the risk of infection and injury. The hospital’s design will create efficiencies between departments and promote an environment that helps patients heal faster. The new 76-acre New Lenox campus also includes medical office buildings which are already open and home to the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, a 4-story outpatient medical services building, and a state-of-the-art cancer center—in partnership with University of Chicago Medical Center.
The railway authority in the Chicago suburbs is Metra. New Lenox has two Metra commuter rail lines. The Main New Lenox Metra Station is located on the corner of U.S. Route 30 and Cedar Road. This rail line services towns on Metra's Rock Island Line between Joliet Union Station and Chicago's LaSalle Street Station. New Lenox also has a Metra Station located on the corner of Cedar Road and Laraway Road. This rail line services towns on Metra's SouthWest Service Line between Manhattan and Chicago's Union Station.
Major roads and highways
New Lenox is located at the junctions of many major roads. U.S. Route 30 is the main East to West road through town. The North South streets are Cedar Road, Gougar Road, and Nelson Road. I-80 and I-355, also known as The Veterans Memorial Tollway, pass through New Lenox. These expressways lend to easy transportation to many other major highways and to Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, Wheaton, Bolingbrook.
New Lenox-Howell Airport, which was located on Laraway Road, is a former airport in town. New Lenox is the second location of Howell Airport, which was originally in Blue Island, Illinois. Howell airport is now the site of housing.
Interstate 355 (I-355), also known as Veterans Memorial Tollway, began construction in late 2005 of a $729.3 million 12.5 mile long southern extension of I-355 from I-55 in Bolingbrook to I-80 in New Lenox. Construction was completed on November 11, 2007. Travel times from New Lenox and the surrounding area to more established northwest suburbs such as Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, etc. are expected to decrease significantly.
The crossroads of I-355, Route 6, and Cedar Road is the future site of two major development projects; Cedar Crossings and Spring Creek Outlets. Cedar Crossings will be constructed at southwest corner of Cedar Road and Route 6, adjacent to Silver Cross Hospital. Cedar Crossings is a proposed 970,000-square-foot retail center to be developed by the Zaremba Group. However, development of Cedar Crossings has been delayed because of the economic downturn.
Arts and entertainment
In 2005, the village opened the Commons anchored by the Performing Arts Pavilion. The Commons became the new home to the village’s annual 4 July celebration and quickly developed into a focal point for festivals, Chamber events, and stage performances. The village organizes a Summer Performing Arts Program including a series of free concerts and family movie nights. Each year the village hosts the Triple Play Concert Series featuring national recording artists performing on three different dates each summer. The 2011 Triple Play headline performers were Starship starring Mickey Thomas, Cheap Trick, and REO Speedwagon. Attendance at the concerts has grown each year to a sell-out capacity. Local restaurants feature favorite menu items for sale during the concerts.
Lincoln-Way High Schools
Lincoln-Way High Schools’ state-of-the-art performing arts centers provide yet another opportunity for the community to enjoy the arts in their own back yard. Featuring a full schedule including the Spotlight Series, Senior Series and Children's Series, there promises to be something for everyone. The acclaimed Curtain Call Community Theatre features many local performers and hosts two productions annually at Lincoln-Way.
New Lenox features the Sanctuary Golf Course. Sanctuary has been rated by the Golf Chicago magazine as a "Best Buy" and is considered by many to be the best golfing value in the Chicago area. Bordering the west end of New Lenox and Joliet is Woodruff Golf Course. Opened in 1926, Woodruff is a scenic, well-manicured course with sweeping elevation changes and small greens.
The New Lenox French Market made its debut in 2011. The Market runs late spring through October and offers fresh produce and fruit, hanging baskets, perennials and potted herbs, gourmet cheeses, dips, candies and sauces, bake goods, fresh coffee and much more. Festivals and various other events play an important role in family culture and entertainment. The Park District plays host to the Village’s annual Proud American Days festival the last weekend in July. This festival includes food vendors, carnival rides, volleyball tournaments, a craft show, and a local battle of the bands, as well as other live music. The Annual Kids Fest includes a day filled with fun activities just for kids. The Chamber’s Halloween Parade & Costume Contest features frightful fun for hundreds of area families.
During the Summer of 2011 (July 7 and 8), Lincoln-Way Central hosted the New Lenox All-Star Experience presented by Mayor Tim Baldermann which included a Dwyane Wade Skills Academy camp, a Devin Hester football camp, a Jim Peterik band camp, as well as the Annual Kids Fest.
The Lincoln-Way Patriots are part of the Mid States Football League and play throughout the Lincoln-Way area.
The Rialto Square Theatre is located just six miles to the west in Joliet. The venue's features include ballet, bridal expos, comedy, cooking classes, travel cinema and tap dance..
Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet with Indy Car, NASCAR and Chicagoland ARCA series races brings thousands of tourists to the region each season. New Lenox dining and retail establishments provide an array of specials and promotions to welcome fans.
Also in nearby Joliet, the Joliet Slammers play amateur league baseball at the state-of-the-art Silver Cross Field, providing clean, family entertainment in a safe environment. Baseball fans may also enjoy attending a Will County CrackerJacks game. The CrackerJacks are a summer collegiate baseball club based in Will County and are members of the Midwest Collegiate League.
Parks and trails
The New Lenox Park District maintains 35 parks and athletic fields comprising 569 acres; while also utilizing 14 facilities throughout New Lenox.
New Lenox also offers a number of paved asphalt and crushed gravel trails. Old Plank Road Trail is a 21-mile asphalt hiking and biking nature trail that travels through the heart of New Lenox with many access points to include access at the Village Hall in the Commons. The Hickory Creek State Nature Preserve provides a 2.8-mile asphalt hiking and biking nature trail as well as access to the historic one-room Schmuhl School Museum on the southeast corner of Route 30 and Schoolhouse Road, which is owned and operated by the New Lenox Historical Society. Additionally, the Hadley Valley Preserve offers a unique 4.85-mile crushed Spring Creek Greenway Trail that welcomes pedestrians and equestrians.
- Alex Broadhurst, center on the Chicago Blackhawks
- Karla DeVito, singer/songwriter
- Tony Cingrani, pitcher, currently playing for the Cincinnati Reds
- Carlton Fisk, former MLB player
- Ned Grabavoy, midfielder, currently playing for Real Salt Lake, 2009 MLS Cup winner
- Renee Kosel, state Congresswomen representing Illinois 81st legislative district
- Rob Ninkovich, defensive end, currently playing for the New England Patriots, played in Super Bowl XLVI
- Johan Reinhard, Andean archeologist and explorer in residence for National Geographic
- Wellington J. Reynolds, painter, instructor at Art Institute of Chicago
- Eric Steinbach, offensive lineman, retired NFL football player
- Henry Johnson, United States Army soldier who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, and the French Croix de Guerre. He was the first American soldier in World War I to receive the Croix de Guerre with star and Gold Palm from the French government.
- New Lenox's weekly community newspaper is The New Lenox Patriot.
Residents in New Lenox receive services from and are generally taxed by the following taxing bodies:
- Joliet Junior College
- New Lenox Community Park District
- New Lenox Fire Protection District
- New Lenox Public Library District
- New Lenox Public Library Bonds
- New Lenox Township Road Fund
- Lincoln-Way Community High School District
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- "phs.ki.se" (PDF).
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- "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Illinois, Southern Chicago area".
- "newlenoxparks.org" (PDF).
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for New Lenox.|