Scoville Park open to the public after renovations

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By Marty Farmer

Sports Editor

Scoville Park is back! With the recent removal of the fences used during its renovation, the historic park is open to the public and will host a series of events slated for the upcoming week.

"We're thrilled that all the renovations have been completed and Scoville Park is open," said Diane Stanke, the Manager of Communications at the Park District of Oak Park. "We think people will really enjoy the new amenities and features of the park."

A Memorial Day commemoration will be held Monday (9 a.m.) at the Peace Triumphant statue of the park. Oak Park resident and Vietnam veteran Brian Flora will portray Union veteran Wilbur Fisk Crummer, who lived in Oak Park after the Civil War. The day of remembrance will also include patriotic singing by The History Singers, bugler John Borland's rendition of "Taps," a color guard and gun salute from the Oak Park Police Department and an invocation and benediction.

On Saturday, June 1, the Grand Re-Opening of Scoville Park will kick off at 10 a.m. New amenities at the park include the Peace Plaza around the World War 1 Monument, along with a renovated playground, tennis courts and entrances. After a formal ribbon cutting ceremony, refreshments will be served and The Great Scott will provide entertainment with a comedy & illusion show.

Sponsored by the Park District of Oak Park and the Oak Park Public Library, the Battle of the Bands (featuring teen bands) will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The celebration of new look Scoville Park culminates on Sunday, June 2, with Oak Park's 40th Annual Day in our Village between 11 a.m. till 6 p.m.

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Reader Comments

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Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 5:26 PM

Chris, Here's more info, with links to even more info...

Chris from OP  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 5:19 PM

I absolutely understand that it is mostly state government money, and that is a whole other problem. But I really wanted to know - how is the park safer? How is it better? What did our 1.6 million buy? The article referenced "renovated" which explains nothing.

Marty Bracco from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 4:50 PM

Chris, Bridgett is correct. The PARC grant program is by statute spent entirely on park projects. The PARC & OSLAD grant programs statewide spend about $ 35M. With a state budget over $ 5B, it's really a drop in the bucket. Yes, it all adds up, but there are many, many other places in IL to look for money "better spent elsewhere".

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 4:34 PM

Chris, the $1.6 million grant is a PARC grant. So if it were spent elsewhere, it would still be on parks and recreation facilities. If your issue is that such grants shouldn't be given out, then that's a state government issue. But should we fault the Oak Park Park District for applying for money the state is offering? Or is your issue with the 25% of the project, roughly $550K, that the park district invested in Scoville? That it should have spent that money on another park?

Chris from OP  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 4:17 PM

Mr Bracco: How is it all of those things you state? Since you bring up economics, I'd remind you of opportunity cost. The 1.6m may have been spent better elsewhere.

Marty Bracco from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 2:23 PM

rfrench, your analogy that this project somehow kept people homeless and/or unemployed is fully & completely without merit. During construction, over 75 people (maybe more) worked in OP & off-site at various times. This included architects, engineers, union plumbers, electricians, teamsters & construction workers, PD staff et al. While here, they paid state income tax and OP sales taxes. Any thought that this somehow took away from state programs that may have helped homeless or the unemployed holds no water. The IDNR, which administers the PARC & OSLAD grant programs, is one of the few state agencies that actually works well, imho. While I'm not at all a Keynesian, some public $$ going to infrastructure & public lands is prudent and proper, and does generate economic activity, thus jobs. There are plenty of other areas in state govt for you to place your angst. And Eric B, this project is in no way a "Jaguar", as you put it. The amount spent was $ 1.6M, not $ 3M. Any spent material was either re-purposed or recycled. The park is prettier, yes, but also more accessible, more secure, and more available to a larger segment of the public.

rfrench from OP  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 10:22 AM

Bridgett. tell that to the homeless.

Eric B from oak park  

Posted: May 24th, 2013 9:42 PM

@rfrench, thanks for making me realize I am not crazy here. yes the park looks great, but so do Jaguar cars but we don't buy Jags for our cops, it is ludicrous to spend 3 million of the state and local funds to make a perfectly fine park a showcase. and I thought we were environmental. Every cubic inch of concrete, furniture, tennis court, play ground, lights, etc. went to the landfill or scrapper . Now we have a prettier park that is no different than the park we were denied using for 9 months

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: May 24th, 2013 7:14 PM

@rfrench, Another way to look at it is how many workers directly and indirectly (who work for the businesses supplying the plans, the equipment and materials) benefited by this renovation. I'm sure those folks are grateful for the expenditure.

rfrench from OP  

Posted: May 24th, 2013 6:13 PM

is anyone else embarrassed at this state expenditure while people are jobless/ homeless, etc. ?

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