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Projects, upgrades and repairs

Park district reviews and looks ahead

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 2:56 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 2:59 p.m. CST

PRINCETON — The Princeton Park Board has reviewed a year’s worth of projects and accomplishments — more than 50 in number.

At Monday’s meeting, Elaine Russell, executive director, presented the annual review of projects and activities, which ranged from mechanical and operational upgrades, to program improvements and adjustments, to equipment purchases, safety reviews and marathons. Those projects and accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg on all that was accomplished during the 2013 year, Russell said.

The largest and most costly project of the year was the Phase 1 resurfacing of the Metro Center parking lot, which was done in August and required the closing of the Metro Center to the public for a few days. Phase 2 of the project will include the resurfacing of the remainder of the Metro Center parking lot and will come from the 2014-15 fiscal year budget.

Following close behind as the largest and most costly projects were the extensive upgrades in lighting, repairs to both the Alexander and Metro Center pools, and the purchase of a new tractor and 15-foot pull-behind-mower deck.

Other projects included roofing upgrades for dugouts at West Side Park; planting of trees throughout Zearing Park from the City-County Park’s nursery; and purchasing new cardio equipment.

Looking ahead to the 2014 year, Russell said finishing Phase 2 of the Metro Center parking lot will be huge. As before, replacing equipment and general upkeep of the Metro Center building is ongoing.

“The Metro Center is 25 years old this year, and maintenance is so important. Many times we have something that fails, and we need to do a quick repair. But then it must be put into the following year’s budget, so we can constantly keep upgrading every aspect of our facility,” Russell said. “This is not only true for the Metro Center but all of our park buildings as well.”

It’s important to remember the Metro Center and the parks within the Princeton Park District are used by the public year-round, not just in the good weather, Russell said. Just this fall and winter alone, the district had 45 children playing dodge ball; 20 participating in a youth basketball clinic; eight teams that included 70 children playing on a basketball league; 40 swim lesson participants; a Saturday evening Dive-In movie with 40 guests; and a men’s basketball league that just started with eight teams, Russell said.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the park board discussed the sessions they attended while at the Jan. 23-25 annual Illinois Association of Park Districts/Illinois Park and Recreation Association conference in Chicago.

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