Improvements coming for Naperville's Frontier Park

  • Frontier Park in Naperville has remained largely unchanged since it was built in 1996, officials say, but it's likely in store for $1.7 million worth of work this spring and summer to regrade several athletic fields and add a new west side parking lot, bathrooms and paved accessible paths to access fields.

    Frontier Park in Naperville has remained largely unchanged since it was built in 1996, officials say, but it's likely in store for $1.7 million worth of work this spring and summer to regrade several athletic fields and add a new west side parking lot, bathrooms and paved accessible paths to access fields. Daily Herald file photo, May 2006

 
 
Updated 4/13/2016 4:45 PM

A major park in south Naperville will be getting a "pretty major overhaul" this spring and summer.

Naperville park board members are likely to approve a $1.7 million contract Thursday for upgrades at Frontier Sports Complex, a 110-acre space with athletic fields, a playground, trails and a skate park near Neuqua Valley High School.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The park hasn't seen much work since it opened in 1996.

"This is a big project," park district Executive Director Ray McGury said. "This will be a lot better for the community."

The project includes adding a new bathroom building and a new parking lot near the McDonald's on the west side of the park as well as wheelchair-accessible paved paths connecting parking lots to athletic fields.

"Access points for people is one of the problems we've had," park board President Mike Reilly said. "There's just some fields that are extremely difficult for people to get to if they have a wheelchair or something."

With new paths, grandparents will have an easier time getting to fields to watch their grandkids compete during frequent weekend games and tournaments, he said.

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The project also includes regrading of four soccer fields on the east side of the park and replacement of an outdated irrigation system. These improvements will prevent the fields from being so pitched that errant kicks propel balls to roll easily past the sidelines.

"The changes won't be noticeable to visitors," Reilly said about the grading, which will be laser-guided and conducted by contractor GLI Services of Joliet, the lowest of four bidders. "But they will be noticeable for the players."

Fixing the slope of the fields also will help prevent the surfaces from gathering water in certain places, causing muddy practices and damaged turf.

"Stormwater to us is more than just an inconvenience," Reilly said. "It causes us a lot more in maintenance costs than it might seem."

The park board is set to vote on the contract during its meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.

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