Outdoor classrooms, a performance stage, and plenty of space to lounge are just three amenities that could soon be available in the Frontier Sports Complex Public Plaza.
Rick Hitchcock, senior principal and president of Hitchcock Design Group presented their design for what they called “the gateway to the most important outdoor civic campus in south Naperville.”
“There really is nothing else like it,” said Hitchcock. “Could it have some compelling attractions? Could it have an exceptional connection to everything around it? And could it have some kind of really distinctive appearance?”
The design also included connections to the trails south of the area, a play space for children, and a retention pond that could be used for remote-controlled boating.
The presentation was the result of a year and a half of work that began in February 2017. That’s when Karen Dunford, manager of the 95th Street Library, watched Mayor Steve Chirico’s State of the City address in which he told residents to ‘dream big’.
On her way into work the next day, an idea came to her when she saw the undeveloped strip of land just south of the library.
“I thought, ‘Wow, what if that could become developed and become a park for people using the library.’ Kids who walk over after school, there are a lot of adults who use the library and walk to Dunkin Donuts and come back,” said Dunford. “Wouldn’t that be a wonderful gateway to that entire Frontier Sports Complex?’”
Dunford called Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury, who saw potential in the idea.
“It’s a perfect parcel of land situated amongst the library, the park district and the school district,” said McGury. “If we had this two-acre parcel anywhere else in the park district holdings, we probably wouldn’t have this extensive of a plan for it. But when you see how its situated and you look at the opportunity of what this can be for the community, it’s an awesome, awesome project.”
The project is expected to cost between $3.65 and $4.5 million dollars and construction could begin as early as April 2019.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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