Naperville plaza gives south side new outdoor space
South Naperville has a new outdoor destination and a way to enjoy the water, which officials celebrated Thursday during an opening ceremony for the 95th Street Community Plaza.
The plaza offers Naperville Park District's first splash pad, as well as a performance pavilion and lawn, a storybook-themed playground, shaded seating, path connections, landscaping and restrooms.
The project turned a roughly 2-acre, overgrown field south of the 95th Street Library into a place to read, play and enjoy being outside, officials said.
The plaza opened July 9 with a splash pad capacity of 50 people during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.
It was the result of more than two years of brainstorming and collaboration led by the park district after Karen Dunford, former manager of the 95th Street Library and current deputy director of the Naperville Public Library, brought forward her idea for the gathering space.
Dunford noticed the library, located next to Neuqua Valley High School and the Birkett Freshman Center, would fill up after school, and she imagined students would enjoy an outdoor space for studying and socializing.
The park district was able to use a land-cash donation from Pulte Homes, developer of the nearby Wagner Farms subdivision south of the plaza, to help bring the $3.6 million project to completion. Pulte also donated, in conjunction with the Wagner family, an additional sum to name the Wagner Family Pavilion.
Construction began in spring 2019 on the new plaza, located at 3109 Cedar Glade Drive. Work was able to continue this spring as construction was ruled essential during the stay-at-home order.