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updated: 7/15/2011 12:08 PM

Naperville's Nike Park ready for unveiling

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  • Soccer can now be practiced and played on artificial turf at the newly refurbished Nike Sports Complex on Mill Street just south of Diehl Road in Naperville.

       Soccer can now be practiced and played on artificial turf at the newly refurbished Nike Sports Complex on Mill Street just south of Diehl Road in Naperville.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Two lighted basketball courts are part of the Nike Sports Complex expansion, which opens Saturday in Naperville.

       Two lighted basketball courts are part of the Nike Sports Complex expansion, which opens Saturday in Naperville.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Many of Nike Sports Complex's new fields feature lighting that can be turned on with a button.

       Many of Nike Sports Complex's new fields feature lighting that can be turned on with a button.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Lighted beach volleyball courts are part of the Nike Sports Complex expansion in Naperville.

       Lighted beach volleyball courts are part of the Nike Sports Complex expansion in Naperville.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Eight new tennis were added to Nike Sports Complex on Naperville's north side. The expanded park officially reopens at 10 a.m. Saturday.

       Eight new tennis were added to Nike Sports Complex on Naperville's north side. The expanded park officially reopens at 10 a.m. Saturday.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Newly paved walkways connect different fields and facilities at Nike Sports Complex in Naperville.

       Newly paved walkways connect different fields and facilities at Nike Sports Complex in Naperville.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • A cricket pitch built in a water detention area still is under construction at Nike Sports Complex and won't open with the rest of the park Saturday. It's expected to be ready by spring 2012.

       A cricket pitch built in a water detention area still is under construction at Nike Sports Complex and won't open with the rest of the park Saturday. It's expected to be ready by spring 2012.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • The new children's playground area has a rubbery surface and ramps for accessibility at the newly refurbished Nike Sports Complex on Mill Street just south of Diehl Road in Naperville.

       The new children's playground area has a rubbery surface and ramps for accessibility at the newly refurbished Nike Sports Complex on Mill Street just south of Diehl Road in Naperville.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • The picnic shelter, rest room facility and park storage area is just east of Mill Street at the newly refurbished Nike Sports Complex in Naperville.

       The picnic shelter, rest room facility and park storage area is just east of Mill Street at the newly refurbished Nike Sports Complex in Naperville.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

Almost everything will be new when Nike Sports Complex celebrates its grand reopening Saturday morning on Naperville's north side.

Just the park's baseball fields and the north parking lot off Diehl Road were left untouched as Naperville Park District added a 20-acre expansion to the existing 25 acres for about $7 million.

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A "run through the ribbon" will replace a typical ribbon cutting at the reopening, which begins at 10 a.m. at 1520 N. Mill St.

Thursday afternoon, as soccer campers became among the first to use the complex's new synthetic turf field and tennis students took their first swings on eight new asphalt courts, Naperville Park District employees led an early tour of the added amenities.

Synthetic turf field

Nike Sports Complex houses the district's first lighted, synthetic turf field. Striped with color-coded yard lines for football, goalie boxes for soccer and boundary markings for lacrosse, the field can accommodate games, practices and camps for those three sports.

"It is considered a multiuse synthetic field," said Michael Piszynski with the district's planning department.

Several sets of bleachers allow spectators to watch the action, and extra soccer goals added to the sidelines let multiple teams practice at once, said Brad Wilson, director of recreation.

Lighted courts

Overhead lights for two basketball courts and eight tennis courts run on a timer and also can be controlled when park patrons push a button on a light pole,

"The lights will come on for 45 minutes to an hour," Wilson said.

Patrons' ability to control the lights ends at 10 p.m., when the system shuts down, he said. Shortly before 10, a strobe light will give a warning that it's time to call it a day.

Sand volleyball

Two beach-like courts adjacent the lighted basketball and tennis courts are among areas park patrons began using even before the official reopening, Wilson said.

But late-night athletes beware, lights for the sand volleyball court also shut off each night at 10 p.m.

Playground and park support building

The playground on the complex's west side was designed with ramps up to play equipment and a rubber floor to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Eric Shutes, director of planning.

It's located next to the building that houses restrooms and park maintenance equipment, named the Book Family Pavilion in honor of Cassandra Book, from whom the park district purchased land for the complex's expansion in 2007.

"It really made sense to expand what we already have," Shutes said.

Other features

Two grass fields suitable for multiple sports were added, while one was renovated to provide better drainage and another was expanded to create a larger playing area, Piszynski said.

A walking/biking trail was added, making a loop between the park's old and new sections. A cricket pitch on the park's south side still is under construction with an expected opening in spring 2012.

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