Oak Brook Park District Board of Park Commissioners unanimously approved the long-term vision for the development and improvement of the newly acquired Central Park North Fields and Central Park during the regular board meeting on Monday, June 17.
The plan was developed by Wight and Company, and incorporated resident and community input obtained through community surveys and focus groups. To provide a cohesive experience for park users and increased recreational opportunities, the plan includes projects on the new property as well as the existing portion of Central Park south of Ginger Creek.
According to Oak Brook Park District Executive Director, Laure Kosey, the plan provides guidance for the board and staff to use as they look towards the future. The park district intends to keep the lines of communication open with the community as the projects in the long-term vision are prioritized, planned, and budgeted for each year. Kosey says that all of the projects could be completed by 2030, and that the park district would not go back to referendum to ask tax payers for the money to complete the improvements.
“Oak Brook residents invested significant financial resources and trust in the acquisition of this property. We want to honor that investment by ensuring that the community’s vision for this property is included in all of our long-term planning,” says Kosey.
There are more than 20 significant projects that have been incorporated into the plan that come with a total price tag of $10-$12 million dollars. The expenses will be distributed through the operating and capital budgets through 2030. The park district plans on spending approximately $3 million on “phase 1” of the plan this year.
Phase 1 addresses the significant grading and drainage issues of the western portion of the property. It will also include the addition of a ½ mile pathway that connects to the existing system to create a continuous loop, a retention pond, the installation of two natural turf fields with LED lighting, parking, small picnic shelter, and several fitness stations.
The park district plans to program the eastern portion of the new fields in conjunction with the improvements in order to begin generating revenue needed to support the improvements.
“Our community prioritized walking paths, restrooms, and athletic field development, and we plan to work towards providing those amenities while working within our means,” says Kosey.