New soccer field highlights park plan in Round Lake Beach
Recreational opportunities in the Round Lake Beach area could multiply quickly with big pending plans for Sports Center Park.
"The goal would be to have the whole park done, if weather cooperates, in the next 12 months," said Bob Newport, executive director of the Round Lake Area Park District.
A master plan for the 14-acre park is among 85 projects statewide that will receive funding from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through its Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant.
The state grant must be matched by the receiving agency. The Round Lake Area Park District, along with parks agencies in Highland Park, Lake Zurich and Waukegan and the city of Highwood, each received $400,000.
Sports Center Park occupies an area north and east of the park district's 50,000-square-foot indoor sports center. Both are part of a municipal complex that includes the village hall/police department, cultural and civic center, Hook Lake and a post office west of Route 83 and north of Rollins Road.
The plan calls for an entry plaza, splash pad, fitness area, sand volleyball, tennis/pickleball courts and trail connections.
However, the biggest part will be relocating the existing outdoor soccer field to the east on the park site.
"It's a completely new spot that has been used as a practice field," Newport said. The existing field was downsized and reoriented to minimize impact on its neighbors, Newport said, and there is not enough space in that location for a full-scale facility.
Once graded, the grass on the new field will take 12 to 15 months to become playable.
Like other agencies, Round Lake Area Park District is awaiting official notification before bidding the work and selecting a contractor.
"It's not like building a building," Newport added. "It's stuff we don't expect too much hiccups with."
A bocce ball court also is in the master plan. While available to all, it is a nod to the Round Lake Superstars, who won the state title representing the Special Recreation Services of North Lake County.
"We're trying to get them a nice home court," Newport said.
Elsewhere, Waukegan will use its funding for renovations to Victory Park; Lake Zurich will add a fishing pier and other amenities at Paulus Park; and Highwood will proceed with the first phase of an events park. In Highland Park, the grant will be used for trail work, amenities and landscaping at the 100-acre Community Park.