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For park district, summer all about construction

LEMONT – It has been a “unique year” in terms of the Lemont Park District’s summer construction projects, said park district Executive Director Louise Egofske.

The district is nearing completion on improvements to the Centennial Campus front entrance, an update to the 65-year-old Virginia Reed Park and the addition of bathrooms to Bambrick Park.

The front entrance construction, which is taking place along 127th Street and is adjacent to Old Quarry Middle School, is the largest project and is being funded primarily by a $400,000 “Safe Routes to School” federal grant.

Egofske said the front entrance has seen increased traffic since the opening of the CORE Fitness and Aquatic Complex and the construction will improve pedestrian and vehicle safety.

“Traffic will definitely have a specific flow to it,” she said.

District Board of Commissioners President Pat Sexton said the district wanted to complete the project as soon as possible.

“We are under a timeline to get it done before the school year starts,” he said.

District officials are enthusiastically anticipating the reopening of Virginia Reed Park, which includes a children’s play area.

It has been 20 years since the district renovated the space, Egofske said.

While the park has maintained its train theme, the district has added a new feature – “Story Hill.”

During the park’s rededication event Aug. 6, Miss Mary from the Lemont Public Library will host storytime on the hill.

Egofske said the district wants to partner with the library for more events, but hopes the community will have its own storytimes on the hill as well.

Sexton said the district has a park replacement schedule but there are not any other projects in the district’s immediate future. The district is in the midst of a facility and space audit to determine whether it can improve the size of its classrooms.

Egofske credits Sexton’s leadership for the number of facility and park improvements in recent years.

“Under his tenure, there has been quite a bit of activity,” she said.

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