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Playground / Park Improvements

South Ridge Park Renovation and the
OSLAD Grant

In fall 2018, the park district is submitted an application for an Open Space Lands Aquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant to make major improvements to South Ridge Park. In late January 2019, HE Parks was notified that $400,000 has been awarded from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as part of the State’s FY 2019 OSLAD program.  This project was one of 89 local outdoor recreation projects, representing approximately $28,974,500 in funding assistance approved by the IDNR for FY 2019 OSLAD grant funds.

Below is a description of the project and drawings: 

The mission of the Hoffman Estates Park District is to “offer healthy and enjoyable experiences to residents and guests by providing first-class parks, facilities, programs and services in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner”. Quite simply as our tagline states: we are “making life fun”. Our most recent Comprehensive Master Plan, which included a community-wide survey, identified the need for a north Hoffman Estates water attraction, specifically a water play feature. As such, we have developed a major renovation plan of South Ridge Park, located on the north side Hoffman Estates, to provide such a community attraction. This grant money, along with funding from our park partner AMITA Health, special recreation dollars for ADA requirements, and reserve funds of the District (no tax increase), will enable us to complete this project. Our intent with this project is to improve the quality of life for residents on the north side of town and throughout the Village of Hoffman Estates and the northwest suburbs, by providing exciting and free outdoor recreation and wellness amenities.

The centerpiece of this park is an expansive, 4,000 sq. foot entertainment splash pad with spray effects, exploratory waterspouts, and interactive squirting displays. The splash pad will use an environmentally-friendly filtration system designed to recycle the water and will eventually pay for itself, essentially providing the water supply for free after ten years. However, this is just one of the many incredible recreational, and wellness benefits that will vastly improve the quality of life for residents in our community. The park will be free of charge and fully accessible to everyone through full ADA compliance. It will provide diverse and exciting offerings for residents of all ages and cultural interests.

Revamped sports fields will accommodate a new array of multi-cultural sports options including cricket, soccer, rugby, ultimate Frisbee, Lacrosse, field hockey and baseball. Many exciting sporting and fitness events, such as tournaments and mini-triathlons, will be held at the park.

The park will offer highly-desirable and inviting free fitness and recreation opportunities to people of all abilities. An exciting new Fitness Challenge Course will be built for adults and children that will provide athletic cross-training for all ages through a series of physically demanding obstacle-course equipment stations, similar to the popular TV show, “Ninja Warrior”. The structure will allow the park district to offer new fitness programming options in the form of group fitness classes, races, and cross-training workshops.

For those with mobility challenges, the plan includes an entertaining and inviting playground remodel with a fully-accessible artificial turf fall surface that allows wheelchairs easy access. For toddlers and those with sensory needs, an attractive and fun nature sensory play area is planned for age 2-5 that will teach kids about nature while delighting the senses with interactive exhibits and amusing play structures.

An attractive open air shelter will be built for party rentals that will include a charcoal grill and electricity and will accommodate 6-8 picnic tables. Groups attending parties at the shelter will have a full view of and access to the splash pad and Fitness Challenge Course, which will make the shelter and the park a highly desirable outdoor party venue for the community.

The park plan includes a paved, two-mile trail system that connects four of our premiere parks and offers visitors the ability to explore all four parks with just one visit. The plan includes enhancing the landscaping and supports our conservation efforts with an environmentally-friendly naturalized lake shoreline that will include native plants to encourage the growth of the Monarch butterfly habitat. Further, a variety of new trees will be planted that will qualify the park to be a certified arboretum by ArbNet. Each tree will be properly labeled and the district will offer educational programs to educate the community on the importance of trees and conservation. The trees will further enhance the beautiful surroundings and add value to the neighborhood.

An upgraded fishing pier and kayak launch will be added. The pier will further enhance our already popular fishing lessons program and support the annual Fishing Derby held by the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce that is held at this park. The kayak launch will be a desirable new addition that will bring new appeal to the lake with the paddle sports programming we will add.

Pickleball is a sport that has seen tremendous growth and popularity in our area, particularly with seniors. To meet this need, we will add pickleball lines to the existing tennis courts and will offer pickleball lessons in addition to outdoor tennis lessons.

Further, the existing sand volleyball court will be programmed for lessons, leagues and tournaments. The existing parking lot will be more than doubled to accommodate the many additional new visitors to the park annually. Lastly, a fully ADA-accessible restroom shelter will be built.

While the district’s park staff will perform the demolition of the playground, local contractors selected through a bid process will complete the majority of the work. The plan already has approval from the HE Parks Board of Commissioners. In addition, local residents in the neighborhood are in full support of this project and demonstrated their overwhelming enthusiasm by presenting a petition with nearly 200 signatures at a recent public meeting.

Below is a map of the proposed plan, and the links below show detailed drawings:

South Ridge Park Construction Updates

July 9, 2019
South Ridge Park enters into the final planning phases. Working with WT Group Engineering, the final construction plans are in development for submission to the Village of Hoffman Estates and MWRD (Metropolitan Water Reclamation Department. These final plans also serve as construction documents for the bidding process. Permits approvals are anticipated for August/September for September/October for MWRD permits. The public bid phase 1 for the project begins in October/November.

Phase 1 includes earthwork, utilities, and concrete/asphalt.
Phase 2 includes the installation of the play areas. Public bidding begins in December/January.

The anticipated competion date is Fall of 2020.

Playground Renovation Projects

2019 Renovations:

The Hoffman Estates Park District hosted public meetings to discuss the renovations of Community Park and Willow Park: Community Park renovation included discussions on the replacement of the playground, renovation of the splash pad, and the addition of asphalt games. This meeting was held Wednesday, December 19th at 6:00pm, in Triphahn Center’s room 114. Willow Park renovation included discussions on the replacement of the playground, and the addition of a Pickleball Court or a passive parkway where the old “Safety Town” is located. This meeting was held December 19th at 7:00pm, in Willow Recreation Center’s conference room.

The Hoffman Estates Park District applied for and received the IAPD/Gametime matching funds grant for both Community and Willow Park.  Both parks are being designed to meet Playcore Play On criteria.  These parks will be National Demonstration Sites for Play On,  promoting physical activity.  Stay tuned for renderings of both parks!

Read the full article about the construction

Willow Park – beginning late April

Construction at Willow Park, located north of the Northwest Tollway at 905 Norman Drive, is receiving a different type of playground. The new playground contains exciting climbing and play structures, sensory panels and the district’s first tandem swing. This swing allows an adult and child to swing facing each other. To fulfil resident’s requests, HEParks is converting an unused paved pad to a passive recreation refuge with trees, benches and grass. A new turf path will link the picnic pavilion and the playground. The current basketball court will be relined to include basketball, foursquare and hopscotch markings.

July 24, 2019 – Update

This past spring has been a challenge with the weather not cooperating with construction timelines, the anticipated completion date was June 10th, and now we are anticipating a Mid-July completion.

As of 6/25/2019, the old playground and fall surface have been removed. The new playground has been laid out and footings poured for the equipment.  After the playground is installed, the drainage system and new entineered wood fibers will be placed for the fall surface.

The basketball court at willow is also scheduled to be resurfaced and lined for basketball and concrete games (hopscotch, four square, etc.). 

Across the street in the location of the old safety town, the asphalt has been removed and replaced with topsoil. In the coming weeks, staff will be planting grass and erosion blankets in this area.  In the fall staff will also be planting new trees in this new passive park area.   

We are currently still on schedule with a Mid-July opening of the park. 

Community Park – beginning May

Community Park construction will take place in two phases beginning. Phase one will include a complete reworking of the splash pad including moving the spray pad to a new location away from the street, doubling its size and adding more spray features. Surrounding the splash pad will be privacy and safety landscaping. The splash pad will be ready for residents this summer. The second phase of construction involves converting existing features to an area with basketball courts, asphalt games and open green space. Phase two also includes a complete reimagining of the playground structures. The new playground will combine the tot and advanced play structures into one play area. Included in the plans is the District’s first arch swing which allows four people to swing together on one large swing.

June 26, 2019 update

Due to uncooperative weather, construction at Community Park has been broken down into three sections: the playground, new splash pad area and the asphalt games. The following have been removed from the site: old playground equipment from the playground and the kid’s fitness playground, fall surfacing from both playgrounds, old splash pad and all concrete curbs and sidewalks. With the playground install over a month behind HEParks staff and the contractor decided to move on with the install of the splash pad to meet the anticipated opening of July 4, 2019. 

As of 6/24/19, the new splash pad area has had all earthwork completed, internals for the splash pad installed, new concrete sidewalk and the splash pad poured.  HEParks staff will be completing the remaining install of splash pad features and landscaping work before July 3rd with the anticipated opening of the Splash Pad on July 4th.  

The playground and asphalt games are anticipated to have an early August
completion.

Due to weather delays, we are anticipating an early August completion
for Community Park. 

 

Highland Park – beginning August

One of the proposed play features at Highland Park.

This past April the HEParks Board of Commissioners approved closing Highland Park due to safety concerns with the playground equipment.

On May 9th, the Director of Parks, Planning and Maintenance held a public meeting at Highland Park that was attended by nine residents. Postcards were sent to 69 surrounding homes and a Notice of Public Meeting sign was placed at Highland Park on 4/25/2019 to inform residents of the public meeting. At this meeting, a conceptual plan for the park was presented. Residents raised some concerns and had some suggestions for the layout and future of the playground at Highland Park. Following the meeting, the staff has developed final plans for Highland Park that include a new Tot playground, a 5-12 structure, removal of failing retaining walls and concrete, earthwork and drainage.

7/8/2019 – Quotes from playground manufacturers due.

7/16/2019 – The total cost of the project submitted to the Building and Grounds board and the full board the following Tuesday.

Upon approval, the construction of the playground will start in August with an anticipated completion date of 10/1/2019.

 

2018 Park Renovations:

This past summer, the park district remodeled two playgrounds at the following schools:

MacArthur (green) & Armstrong (blue and tan)