$305K playground project planned for Libertyville park

Charles Brown Park on Libertyville's far south side is next for big improvements as part of the village's master parks plan.

The $305,223 project calls for aging playground equipment to be replaced, the basketball court be resurfaced and striped to include pickleball, and a portable-toilet enclosure be added.

The 22-acre facility at 1015 Dawes Ave. is one of four identified as a community park in the master plan. There are 18 parks in the village-operated system.

The parks master plan, approved in 2018, included online public input regarding parks, facilities and programs. Residents at a community meeting said updated, specialized and accessible playgrounds, as well as outdoor pickleball courts, were priorities.

The master plan proposes tasks and projects for five years.

Charles Brown will be the third playground to be replaced as part of the plan. The first was Cook Memorial downtown. Last year, the playground at Adler Memorial Park, by far the village's largest at 98 acres, was the second.

In December, two playground proposals for Charles Brown were solicited from four vendors for a total of eight design options. The village's parks and recreation advisory committee reviewed the proposals and selected four.

In mid-February, an online survey with the final four designs and four playground equipment options was posted on social media, the village website and in its e-newsletter. Feedback was solicited through Feb. 24, with 518 votes received.

The commission unanimously recommended the design submitted by BCI Burke Company of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The village board on Tuesday approved an agreement to purchase and install the equipment and other work.

The playground at Charles Brown Park was installed in 1996 and does not meet current playground or American with Disabilities Act standards.

The new equipment will include: play areas for 2- to 5-year-olds and 5- to 12-year-olds; an ADA-ramped main structure; a net climber; several slides and climbing features; a ground-level music play option; two ground-level playhouses; and a combination of pour-in-place rubber and wood chip surfaces.

An interactive activity called Biba games that can be downloaded for free on phones is also part of the project.

The village also has been busy in another part of the park.

In December, a $1.65 million project to restore and expand the reservoir, replace 50-year-old pumps and associated work, including native plantings, was substantially completed.

The reservoir holds stormwater from the flood-prone Highlands subdivision, which includes Ames, Burdick, Carter, Dawes and Drake streets and Crane Boulevard.

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