Ceremonial groundbreaking marked the beginning of a $3 million Chase Park construction project Saturday. The project will create a gateway to the park in the south east corner of the property, rebuild the current playground so that it is ADA compliant and make extensive improvements to the interior of the fieldhouse.
Patricia Martinelli, Membership Coordinator of the Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce said the beginning of construction, expected next week, marks a major milestone in a four year effort by the community. “The one thing about Chase is that everything is handicap accessible, including a theater, a pool and now the play lot,” Martinelli said.
The playground plan calls for the removal of the current wood chips and their replacement with a material appropriate for children with limited mobility. Two separate areas will be constructed, one for older children and one with play sets appropriate for younger children.
Along Clark Street and Leland Ave a brick courtyard and gateway will mark a new center for the community. Paving bricks are being sold to help sponsor the work.
The community raised $1 million in a period of about 30 months, according to Martinelli. Matching funds were found through efforts by State Representative Greg Harris, State Senator Heather Steans and Alderman Eugene Schulter.
Harris said the state is providing about $400,000 through the state capital improvement budget. Schulter found $300,000 for the improvements through Tax Incremental Financing funds and also found $50,000 for the park gateway.