Elgin council signs off on expansion to sports complex with an eye toward fall construction



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Final plans to expand the Elgin Sports Complex won Elgin City Council approval this week, with construction expected to start this fall.

The $17.5 million project calls for two new synthetic sports fields, a 1,991-square-foot concession building with public restrooms, a new maintenance building and a 1,920-square-foot open-air pavilion. A total of 271 parking spaces will be added along with a central plaza for events and a walking trail around the new fields.

A new entrance to the complex off Route 31 is part of the plan.

Construction bids are being solicited and need to be submitted by May 16, Parks and Recreation Director Maria Cumpata said. Recommendations for contracts will be presented to the council at its June 12 meeting, she said.

“The preliminary work phases needed to obtain permitting for the various facets of the site improvements continue,” Cumpata said. “Unforeseen site conditions have necessitated additional work that is lengthening the time before shovels hit the ground, but work is currently on track to begin this fall.”

The new amenities will be going in on the 87 acres of land purchased from the state of Illinois in 2013. The property is adjacent to the already existing 410-acre regional park.

Planning and Zoning Commission members voted to recommend the council approve the plan, with only resident Darlene Castelvecchi voicing her concerns at that meeting about the potential for increased noise, air pollution and traffic in the area and the wildlife that will be displaced by the development.

“I know there’s a lot of excitement,” said Castelvecchi, who also spoke about her objections at Wednesday’s council meeting. “It’s going to bring a lot of wonderful recreation (opportunities). It’s going to bring revenue in. But you’ve got to look past that.

“As we go forward, I’m going to ask for due diligence as a city and proceed with caution,” she said. “I’m reaching out to you as a council. Please think before you do.”

The council approved the plan, with Councilman Anthony Ortiz asking whether the sports complex construction would overlap with the road work being done on Route 31. The two-year project involves replacing a bridge over Route 20.

Cumpata acknowledged the two projects will be going on simultaneously.

“Everybody will have to play nice,” she said.

Gloria Casas is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.



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