As part of the Skokie Park District's five year master plan, planning for the 2019-20 redevolpment of Laramie Park has begun. Last week, the district's Board of Commissioners held a public hearing, where they received valuable resident input and also unveiled professional concepts for the project.
The Hitchcock Design Group's conceptual design featured a large wish list including: a new playground with separate sections for younger and older children; a family fun area with an outdoor ping pong table and baggo games; a gazebo/shelter with picnic tables, litter receptacles, and benches; fitness stations; a sports-themed interactive splash pad; pickleball courts; a new loop path around the park; additional parking; a rain garden; synthetic turf for the west diamond infield; and new back stops and dugouts.
View the park concepts here.
After reviewing the ideas, citizen’s comments included: lighting the east ballfield; additional security lighting; concerns regarding additional parking overpopulating the park; and the possibility of adding a small dog park, a small concession shed, and an announcers box. Residents also expressed concerns regarding splash pad maintenance, a dangerous west field drain, and the expense of synthetic turf.
According to Executive Director John Ohrlund, the district will be applying for a $400,000 Open Space Land Acquisition Development grant, now available throught the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The district would then need to match the grant. The grant application is due October 1. Ohrlund anticipates that if the grant is awarded to the district, construction could start in late 2019 or early 2020.