After 4 years, Carpenter Park nears completion

 
 
Updated 6/14/2017 6:08 PM
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  • A $1 million renovation project is almost entirely complete at Carpentersville's Carpenter Park.

      A $1 million renovation project is almost entirely complete at Carpentersville's Carpenter Park. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • A new playground has been installed at Carpenter Park as part of Carpentersville's $1 million renovation.

      A new playground has been installed at Carpenter Park as part of Carpentersville's $1 million renovation. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • A nine-hole disc golf course was among the several improvements included in a $1 million renovation at Carpenter Park.

      A nine-hole disc golf course was among the several improvements included in a $1 million renovation at Carpenter Park. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • A $1 million renovation project at Carpenter Park is about 98 percent complete, Carpentersville officials said.

      A $1 million renovation project at Carpenter Park is about 98 percent complete, Carpentersville officials said. Rick West | Staff Photographer

A $1 million renovation project at Carpentersville's flagship park seemed to hit one setback after another since plans were initiated four years ago.

First, the Carpenter Park improvements were halted for more than a year when the state froze project funding. Then, the contractor originally hired to perform the work went out of business.

Now, after years of being under construction and largely unusable, the amenities at Carpenter Park are almost entirely functional, Public Works Director Bob Cole said. Walking paths have been formed, a nine-hole disc golf course was created, basketball courts were installed and a new playground has officially opened.

As the final pieces of the project fall into place this month, village officials say the end product is worth the wait.

"We persevered, and the outcome is very positive," Cole said. "The park is being used as it should today."

The project has been ongoing since April 2013, when Plainfield-based Upland Design was hired to create a master park plan, Cole said. The village was awarded a $400,000 matching Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant about a year later.

When the state suspended funding for parks projects throughout Illinois in March 2015, the village's public works staff had already removed all playground equipment and other amenities in anticipation of construction.

Carpenter Park sat empty and untouched for more than a year until the grant was released last summer, Cole said. Construction resumed in September after the village hired a new contractor, Chicago-based Elanar Construction.

The project is now about 98 percent complete, with only minor improvements to the new softball field remaining, Cole said. A grand opening is scheduled for July 15.

"With these improvements, the park will definitely be used by a lot more people," he said. "There's just more activities for them to do other than a playground."

Other upgrades include bag toss games, gazebos, perennial gardens and a serenity garden at the Veterans Garden memorial. New signage, which Cole calls the "icing on the cake," has also been added to the park entrance at Main Street and Lord Avenue.

"The residents and the village board and parks commission exhibited a lot of patience with the project," Cole said. "It just seemed like there were a lot of hurdles as the project progressed, but I think the outcome was well worth the wait."

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