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.
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.
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.
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.
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.