Lindberg Park redo's cost: $1.1 million

Park District of Oak Park could get started in 2013


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By Ben Meyerson

Chicago Journal Editor

Click here to see the latest plan for Lindberg Park.

The Park District of Oak Park's planned overhaul of Lindberg Park could cost $1.1 million, according to a presentation to the park board Thursday night.

The estimate comes at the end of a months-long planning process that included focus groups and raucous public meetings, highlighted by a disagreement over the park's athletic fields.

After debating the merits of artificial turf, sports lighting and a high-performance, high-cost natural turf field, the park district's consultant who led process, Wolff Landscape Architecture, decided to stick with soil similar to what's at Lindberg now.

New features of the park will include revamped tennis courts, a half-mile walking loop and possibly a new shelter for day camps.

Wolff presented the cost estimate to the board in their first full discussion of the park's remodeling.

The plan for the park involves hiring several specialists to examine the lumpy athletic fields to figure out just what is the best way to care for them and maintain them.

Mark Gartland, park board president, said he wants to take that step before diving into the park's renovation headfirst.

"While it is bumpy, it is one of our more successfully grass-growing parks," Gartland said. "Before we go out to bid — and I realize this is several years in the future — I'd rather have the consultant come in and tell us what we need to be doing."

Board member Lise Valentine said she also had concerns about the cost to maintain the fields Wolff was proposing.

"This strikes me as a plan that increases maintenance costs," Valentine said. "As we get closer, I'd like to see more estimates on those costs, even though this is a capital plan."

Overall though, the board seemed pleased with the plan. With a few small suggestions — making sure there's adequate lighting on the new walking paths, adding fencing around the new tennis courts to keep balls from going into the street — the board moved to put the plan up for a vote at its full meeting on Dec. 16.

That meeting is open to the public, and residents will have the opportunity to comment at the beginning of the meeting.

If approved, the park district will likely work on pieces of the plan in 2013. The parks' capital plan currently has $450,000 set aside for Lindberg's construction in that year.

Lindberg Park Draft Site Master Plan Recommendation

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Ben Meyerson from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 11:56 AM

Mr. Ceda:
As an independent government body, the park district has a designated portion of your tax bill that everyone pays into, just like the schools or the actual village. They're completely separate branches of government that don't overlap.
The park district sets aside a certain part of its budget for improvements to its parks, and spreads it out amongst all the different parks over a period of time.
The park district creates master plans, like this one, to guide their choices.

A. Ceda from Oak Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2010 5:43 AM

Ben, can you please explain how this project would be funded? The plan seems to be awfully expensive. Given the Holmes shooting story, I would rather that tax dollars go to law enforcement. Is the Lindberg plan to be privately funded? Thanks.

Jim Mariner from River Forest  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 9:51 PM

Wisdom prevails !! Love the 1/2 mile walking/jogging path.

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