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Expanded Beach-Oak Park will feature skate area and train-spotting tower

Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 11:29 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 11:32 a.m. CST

LA GRANGE PARK – The L-shaped Beach-Oak Park will look a little more square after a $300,000 expansion project this summer.

The Community Park District of La Grange Park received a $150,200 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant to buy and raze a house next to the park. The grant matches the amount to be paid by the district, which next year plans to add a large interactive water fountain and skate area, as well as relocate two existing basketball hoops.

The park covers less than one acre, but is used by residents within a half-mile radius.

"It gets a lot of use for its size," said Roy Cripe, the park district's executive director.

The expansion will increase the park's size by about one-third. Cripe said there are also plans for a train-spotting tower, where residents can watch trains pass by on the adjacent Indiana Harbor Belt tracks.

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