Meadow Glens Park on Naperville's east side will be closed for the rest of the year as it undergoes a nearly $1 million renovation.
Project Manager Mike Piszynski said the makeover will be worth the wait, as the 19-acre park just south of the Walgreens near Wehrli Road and 75th Street will be transformed from primarily basketball courts and softball fields into a modern recreation area.
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Improvements will include a new loop trail with fitness stations; a restroom building and drinking fountain; a nature playground and family recreation area with bag toss equipment, benches and a picnic shelter; a winter skating area; prairie restoration; and renovations to the ball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts and parking lot.
Piszynski, who designed the improved park, said he is most excited to see the completed nature-themed play area.
"It's unique ... in the sense this equipment will be less structured than the traditional equipment in other parks," he said. "This one will have a slide built into a hill, a hollow log crawl, and climbing boulders. It's going to be really fun."
The beanbag game equipment is another first for the park district.
"We thought the bags games would be a nice amenity to go along with the picnic shelter," Piszynski said. "Everyone seems to love to play. If you're not fortunate enough to have your own backyard set, come on out to Meadow Glens."
Park officials have called the renovation the focal point of this year's projects since learning in May 2011 they would receive a $400,000 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant to help fund upgrades and capital maintenance at the park. They applied for the grant in July 2010.
Over the past year, staff developed construction drawings based on the conceptual plans, held a public bid for the construction, and is now ready to begin the project.
"This has been in works for a while now. We're excited to mobilize on Monday and get started," Piszynski said.
While construction will be substantially complete by December, Piszynski said turf restoration likely will be extended through early summer 2013.
The park district plans to host a community celebration of the reopening of Meadow Glens in the spring.