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updated: 6/15/2011 5:04 PM

Paulus Park improvements recommended

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By Danielle Gensburg

Lake Zurich's Paulus Park is in line for nearly $1 million in changes and improvements under a proposal that now goes to the village board for consideration.

The village's Special Park and Recreation Advisory Board on Tuesday backed Norris Design's proposal for phase II improvements for the park at 200 S. Rand Road. The estimated total cost for the project is $997,046.

The final proposal is a combination of two concepts presented June 1. The changes were mostly minor, with the exception of a proposed dog park that was eliminated from the plan.

"After further review, we decided that parcel of land should be left alone in case the community has ideas for it in the future," said Michael Perkins, the village's director of park and recreation. "There are many other parks in the Lake Zurich community that would work for a dog park."

The final proposal includes a large amphitheater and shelter, a boardwalk, interpretive signage, a new fishing dock, additional entrances, pathways and seating, restored wetlands, and upgraded (more energy efficient) restroom fixtures. A tree house-inspired playground with interactive learning structures is also proposed.

The idea is to replace the old Kid's Kingdom area with more state of the art and safer features, Norris Design representatives said.

Split in two, the area will contain a playground plaza with a swing set, concession stand, steppingstones, bridge, and climbing boulders on one side, and a play area with interactive structures on the other.

After the presentation, one of the four residents in attendance voiced concern about trees in the park.

"It sounds great, but all I ask is that you keep the trees in the park. Most of the parks in Lake Zurich are too hot to sit down because there are not a lot of trees," the resident said. "One of the things we like about that park is the trees."

Norris representatives said there were no plans to remove any trees on the property and emphasized the importance of incorporating natural elements with all improvements.

The next stage is to present the plan to the village board at the June 20 meeting.

With village board approval, Norris representatives hope to submit an OSLAD (Open Space and Land Acquisition Development) grant application by July 1 for $400,000 in funding for the project.

Actual construction to the park would be planned for fall of 2012.

"A lot of work's been done. We took what would normally be a nine-month project and squeezed it into four months," Perkins said.