With the 17 acres of land directly east of Skokie Sports Park now environmentally sound after a three-year cleanup, the Skokie Park District board of commissioners last night moved one step closer to approving a final plan for the property’s development.
Consultants from The Lakota Group and Gewalt Hamilton Associates presented two final options. Both were well-received by the board:
- The first plan features playing fields, half of which would be grass and the other half synthetic turf. The multi-purpose area would contain four soccer fields, a cricket field with cricket pitch, three small practice soccer fields, two baseball/softball fields and a recessed water detention area. The fields would be surrounded by parking on four sides, with fitness stations and a playground, new restrooms and shelters, and an expanded maintenance facility. A walking track and green space with trees would be placed around the perimeter of the property. The current Skokie Sports Park and its parking area would be unchanged. (See Plan 1 here.)
- The second, slightly more ambitious plan would offer the same elements as the first, with the following exceptions: The playing field area would be made up entirely of synthetic turf, featuring space for six soccer fields, two cricket fields with pitches, and four baseball/softball fields. Two water detention areas would be hidden underground, with the existing Sports Park parking lot reconfigured and moved to the west, eliminating Sports Park’s current batting cages. The resulting slightly larger enclosed playing area would feature new batting cages and a new clubhouse. (See Plan 2 here.)
The board is expected to make a choice at the April board meeting after reviewing proposed financing. Although a substantial amount of the funding needed for the project is already in place, prior to the April board meeting, commissioners will review staff-researched additional funding options.
“Additional funding options may include potential grants, local and regional corporate sponsorships, or naming rights opportunities,” said the district’s Executive Director John Ohrlund. “The board may also opt to tackle the project in stages, allowing time for the financing of individual features of the park.”
The Skokie Park District leases the entire 35-acre property at the corner of Oakton Street and McCormick Boulevard from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The west portion of the property, Skokie Sports Park, currently features a golf range, mini-golf and batting cages.
For questions or comments regarding the Sports Park East project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.