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Capital Projects & Improvements

Glen Ellyn Park District continues to work to improve your parks and facilities. If you would like to know more about any of these projects, please email Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


Playground Replacement Plan

The District’s Playground Replacement Plan ensures that Glen Ellyn averages one new playground each year. Each of the District’s 21 playgrounds has an average useful life of 15-20 years. The plan includes playgrounds in the proposed priority order; however, the order is subject to change based on available grant opportunities, budgets, and other factors.

View the plan »

Projects Currently in Planning or Construction

Expand each section to learn more about projects currently in planning or construction. 


  • Sunset Playground (2023)

    The Sunset Park playground was built in 1993 and is on the Playground Replacement Plan for Budget Year 2022. The District strives to be an eco-friendly leader. The replacement play equipment includes innovative ocean-recycled materials. Demolition will start in winter and the new equipment will be replaced in the spring/summer 2023. For more information on this project, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Ackerman Park Fields 5 & 6 (2023)

    Softball fields 5 and 6 were not included in previous park improvements due to limited funding. Recently, the District received funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity which will fund 80% of the improvements. Renovations will have similar elements to the softball hub, including black polycoated dome backstops, premium infield mix, and resizing the infields to regulation standards. For more information on this project, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Security Cameras (2022-2023)

    In summer 2022, security cameras were added to Lake Ellyn, giving 24/7 coverage and recording capabilities of the Boathouse and property. Cameras will be installed at Newton Park and Maryknoll Park starting in the winter 2022. Additional cameras will be added at other locations in 2023. For more information on this project, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • George Ball Tennis Court Improvements (2022-2023)

    In November, the asphalt surface on the tennis courts was renovated along with new nets and energy-efficient LED lighting. Half of the LED lighting costs were covered by a ComEd Energy Efficiency Grant. Pickleball lines were added to the three east courts. Color coating of the courts will be done in spring 2023. Temporary lines will be painted to allow play until the color coating occurs. For more information on this project, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Frank Johnson Center Study (2021-2023)

    The Frank Johnson Center is the Operations building headquarters for all maintenance of the District Parks and Facilities. Originally an ice production building, this facility has been renovated in piecemeal over the years.

    As the facility is beyond its useful life and in need of significant attention, the District reviewed several options including relocation. At the conclusion it was determined to have the operation remain at is current site and develop renovation plans that could be possible implemented within the next ten years. As part of long-range capital planning process, a facility evaluation occurred in 2021 to identifying needs, deficiencies, and possible solutions for the facility and site. These will be incorporated into a master plan that will be phased over the next 5 years and be incorporated into our financial plans.

    A facility evaluation was conducted by a professional architect during summer 2021, including multiple input sessions with staff. Two concepts for reconstruction and remodeling were produced along with the projected cost for future construction. These were presented to the Board and are being incorporated into our financial plans.

    Architecture plans are under development and will be subject to permit review prior to bidding this winter. Construction to begin in spring 2023.

    Temporary facilities and accommodations are being devised, so there will be no interruption to park operation services.

    For more information, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Lake Foxcroft Asphalt Improvements and Master Planning (2022)

    Improvements to the asphalt trailways and parking, as part of routine asphalt maintenance, are to be completed in 2022, in coordination with Milton Township.

    In addition to planning for a scheduled playground replacement in the next two years, staff is working on a master plan for improvements at Lake Foxcroft. Once further developed, stakeholders will be engaged for input.

    These improvements and master planning efforts will be incorporated into the referendum project.

    For more information, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Newton Skate Park Redevelopment (2022)

    Improvements to the District’s skate park at Newton Park are complete. A professional skate park design consultant was engaged for the skate park design. A public meeting was held on April 21, 2022, at Spring Avenue Recreation Center. A large group of very engaged users attended and provided constructive feedback. A revised concept was placed on order June 22. Demolition was completed in late August, followed by crack protection, asphalt and new color coating. Skate ramps installation was completed in mid-December. For more information, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Shoreline Improvements at Lake Ellyn Park (2021-2022)

    A new shoreline path extending from the Lake Ellyn Boathouse to the fishing pier has been installed and is ready for Glen Ellyn residents and Lake Ellyn Park visitors to enjoy. Funded by an anonymous donation, the 12-foot-wide path features permeable pavers as well as sections of masonry seat wall and long-lasting products that align with the historical character of the park.

    The entry garden was designed by Chicago-based Garden Design Consultant Austin Eischeid, who specializes in designing dynamic naturalistic plantings. Eischeid has worked alongside world renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf on numerous projects across the country and his portfolio includes Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and Midwest Groundcovers in St. Charles, Illinois. A significant variety of native plants with year-round interest and bloom times was used to emphasize the entrance of the pathway and create a wandering garden experience from the Boathouse. The horticulture will also be used as a tool for outdoor education in Park District nature programs.

    The overall project was designed by Nathan Troia, Superintendent of Planning and Natural Resources and Professional Landscape Architect with the Glen Ellyn Park District. “In general, this project was about adding needed public access to the water’s edge,” said Troia. “This project is more than a walkway, but an aesthetic space in and of itself and an extension of the Boathouse.”

    Improvements to the boat ramp north of the Boathouse have also been completed. Additional components to the project are expected to be done early next year. Those include path lighting as well as a rain garden, which is a depressed area with vegetation built to filter stormwater runoff, on the backside of the path.

    The shoreline pathway and other elements are part of a budget-dependent multi-phase project to improve and maintain Lake Ellyn Park, which began with the 2013 Lake Ellyn Master Plan. Other Master Plan improvements throughout the years have included restoration of the historic Lake Ellyn Boathouse, replacement of the playground, converting pathway lights to energy efficient LEDs, realigning paths to expand green space, and adding the fishing pier, vegetative restorers, and interpretive signage.

    For questions regarding this project, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Ackerman Sports & Fitness Upgrades (2021-2022)

    As part of Ackerman Sports and Fitness revaluation of the HGA Space, renovations are planned. Consisting of a batting cage system that can be configured in a multitude of ways, new flooring, painting, and installation LED lights that will be much brighter – saving energy and costs.

    Utilizing a grant through ComEd, new LED lights were installed in the former Hard Gainers Athletics space. These lights have the benefit of being significantly brighter while also reducing energy costs. The incentives for this project saved almost $3,000.

    The batting cage system was installed in the first weeks of January and used immediately!

    New flooring was installed in July. This includes a large rubber flooring area for group exercise and new heavy-duty turf that will accommodate various training activities.

    Final painting and signage are the last detail items to finish this renovation.

    For more information on this project, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Downtown Event Area & Open Space Park

    The Village of Glen Ellyn is in the process of purchasing the former US Bank property located at 453 Forest Avenue in Downtown Glen Ellyn and partnering with the Glen Ellyn Park District to develop the area into a multi-use event and Downtown park/open space, to be utilized by the entire Glen Ellyn community.

    The Village will purchase the property, approximately 45,000 square feet, located at the corner of Forest Avenue and Duane Street, for $1,650,000. The Village will partner with, and lease the space to the Park District, through a future intergovernmental agreement that will provide for the development of the area into a Downtown open land park and event space directly south of the Glen Ellyn Train Station.

    The Park District’s plan is to transform this site and expand Prairie Path Park into a dynamic open space within the heart of Glen Ellyn’s Downtown. The site will create a “front yard” for commuters, Prairie Path users, Downtown residents, and the entire Glen Ellyn community. The project will also fulfill an initiative driven by the Village’s Downtown Plan and Comprehensive Plans, which call for the addition of green space within the Downtown area. Development of the site will also serve as a catalyst for improvements to adjacent properties and bring new events to the area.

    “This investment in the Village’s Central Business District by both the Village and Park District will enhance how and where events are carried out in the Downtown area,” said Village President Mark Senak “This will also drive additional activity and visitors to support our Downtown businesses.”

    The Park District’s early conceptual plans for the space include 9,000 square feet of greenspace, the integration of the existing Prairie Path Park, and a potential permanent stage and support facility, among other enhancements.

    “This is a win-win for the community,” said Park District Executive Director Dave Harris. “The availability of this land is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that allows the District to address its goal of reducing park “deserts” — that is, areas that do not have adequate parks nearby like Downtown — while also adding to and expanding opportunities for public recreation that will benefit Glen Ellyn residents as a whole for years to come.”

    The Village and Park District have a long history of partnering together on collaborative projects. Both agencies are committed to working to enhance and improve open space and recreational opportunities within Glen Ellyn. The model for this intergovernmental agreement is similar that which was established for Village Green Park on Lambert Road, also owned by the Village, and leased to the Park District.

    In addition to the US Bank property, the agreement would develop a framework to improve and enhance both Panfish Park and Manor Woods, a response to feedback driven by the community.

    “Over the last few years, the Park District and Village staffs, at the direction of their elected leaders, have been discussing opportunities and ways to share costs and services more efficiently and effectively,” said Franz. “This partnership will maintain and enhance open space and recreational opportunities at both Panfish Park and Manor Woods and allow for three parks and open spaces to flourish through investment and improved planning and management.”

    The framework would call for the sale of Village-owned property in Manor Woods to the Park District, and an investment in Panfish Park by both the Park District and Village that would improve the look and feel, increase amenities, and redevelop the playground.

    “Given the Park District’s potential to bring economies of scale, its ability to seek grants and effectively manage and maintain properties, they are the most effective agency to manage park assets,” said Village Manager Mark Franz. “In short, it is in the community’s best interest to shift these assets to the Park District.”

    For more information on this project, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Village and Park District Partner to Improve Panfish Park

    As part of the Village of Glen Ellyn and the Glen Ellyn Park District’s collaboration to enhance and improve recreation opportunities within Glen Ellyn, a preliminary conceptual design to refurbish Panfish Park is underway. In response to community-driven feedback, the investment would improve the look and feel, increase amenities, and redevelop the playground.

    The agreement is a component of the Village and Park District’s partnership to purchase and develop the former US Bank property, located at 453 Forest Avenue in Downtown Glen Ellyn, into a multi-use event area and open-space park.

    The scope of the Panfish Park enhancements includes renovating the playground area, improving the loop walking trail, introducing more natural areas and trees, removing invasive plants and dead trees, and adding new signage and site furniture.

    The existing playground, previously installed in 1996, will be replaced with an ADA-accessible playground with fixtures geared toward children ages 2-5 and 5-12. An open-air shelter will also be built.

    Minor realignments will be added to the loop walking trail and the hierarchy of the trails will be improved with an emphasis on the outer half-mile. Limestone will continue to be used primarily with concrete in key washout areas as needed.

    An overall natural area plan will be drafted that will include an interactive tree tour with signage installed on legacy trees throughout the park.

    Renovations for Panfish Park are expected to start in late 2023 or 2024, with public engagement opportunities beginning next year.

    The Park District’s early conceptual plans to transform the former US Bank property are to include 9,000 square feet of greenspace and expand the existing Prairie Path Park into a dynamic open space within the heart of Glen Ellyn’s Downtown. There is also potential for a permanent stage and support facility.

    The site will create a “front yard” for commuters, Prairie Path users, Downtown residents, and the entire community. The project will fulfill an initiative driven by the Village’s Downtown Plan and Comprehensive Plans, which call for the addition of green space within the Downtown area. The development of the site will also serve as a catalyst for improvements to adjacent properties and bring new events to the area. The project is expected to break ground in 2024 or 2025, depending upon the design, public engagement, and permit process.

    For questions regarding these projects, please contact Nathan Troia, Superintendent of Planning and Natural Resources with the Glen Ellyn Park District, at ntroia@gepark.org.


  • Referendum Projects

    The spring referendum passed receiving significant support from the community. The outcome was 63% in favor. Immediately after the election, the District initiated efforts to move forward with the included projects. This included finalizing the planning and construction consultants and organizing internal teams to assist the many projects while further developing the preliminary timelines that were presented during the referendum education effort. Additionally, the financial strategy was further refined and developed to maximize available funds. Planning is underway, and many of the projects will be starting construction as soon as 2024. For more information on these projects, please contact Nathan Troia at ntroia@gepark.org.

Projects archive »