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Skate area part of improvements planned for Gordon Park

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:44 a.m. CDT

LA GRANGE – An above-ground skate area, a soccer field and a performance area are part of a renovation plan for Gordon Park approved by the Plan Commission April 4.

The plan requires approval by the Village Board, which meets April 22, but staging for the project will begin within the next week or so, said Patrick Benjamin, director of Community Development.

The project involves the transfer of a “fingertip”-size portion of land along Ogden Avenue from the park district to the village, park district executive director Dean Bissias said.

Previously, the village had asked for “a whole lot more land than we thought was necessary,” Bissias said, but determined it only needed a small piece of land at Locust Street along Ogden Avenue. In exchange, the park district will be able to increase parking on Hazel Avenue.

The skate area will include a handful of small apparatuses, such as rails, but no below-ground features.

“It’s not a skate park [with] the drop-in holes,” Bissias said. “It’s much smaller than a skate park. It’s only a skate spot.”

The project will remove two of the park’s four baseball/softball fields, which will be replaced by a soccer field. Other additions include a performance area, an 80-by-30-foot steel and wood pavilion, a playground, a splash pad that shoots water up from the ground and pathways with health stations, which will incude things like stationary bikes and chin-up bars.

Construction could begin at the start of May, Bissias said, and should be finished by September. None of the new features will open before the entire project is completed.

Bissias said the project will cost $2.2 million. The park district will be reimbursed for $400,000 of the cost through an Illinois Open Space Land Acquisition grant.

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