On Saturday, July 23, Governor Quinn announced that 42 different park and recreation agencies throughout the state of Illinois will receive $12,354,600 in funding at a press conference in Columbus Park in Chicago. The Addison Park District was awarded $359,100 from the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant which is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
The state-financed OSLAD program provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open space. These funds are generated by non-General Revenue Fund (non-GFR) dollars dedicated through the State's Real Estate Transfer Tax.
Addison Park District applied for the OSLAD grant as a means to make critical renovations in Community Park. Improvements to ball fields 1 and 2, enhanced walking path with exercise stations, addition of a high-school regulation basketball court and amenities such as shuffleboard, bocce ball and horse shoe pits will be added to the Senior Center courtyard next to Community Rec. Center are some of the features that will be added.
"We are very excited about this news and the opportunity to make improvements within the park," stated Mark McKinnon, Executive Director of the Addison Park District. "And this is only Phase 1 of a multi-tiered project outlined for Community Park within the District's Master Plan."
The OSLAD grant is a 50/50 matching grant which can only be used for projects identified within the grant application. The 2012 grant will help fund the scope of work outlined in Phase 1 which is approximately $800,000.
According to McKinnon, the Park District plans to reapply for the grant in 2013 to fund Phase 2 of the project, while Phase 1 is still under construction. The plan is to break ground on this project in spring of 2013 with project bids going out in December of 2012 and January of 2013. Phase 1 is anticipated to be completed by May 2014.
Significant improvements will be made to athletic fields 1 and 2 including groundwork such as regrading and a new drainage system so that both fields will be playable sooner in the spring and following heavy rain falls. Field 2 will become a multi-purpose field to accommodate football, soccer and lacrosse. Additional features include new fencing, new lighting and new bleachers with shade structures. A new tot playground will be centrally located next to the athletic fields to entertain kids from 2-5 years of age.
Addison Park District is committed to providing the highest quality recreational opportunities and open space for everyone. The District's Comprehensive Master Plan is available online at www.addisonparks.org with extensive plans for improving all parks and facilities.