Winnetka Park District has started working on the second phase of Skokie Playfield Master Plan, when complete, the playfields will have four new baseball fields, two synthetic turfs, Winnetka Talk reported.
The estimated $10 million project includes stormwater management ($3 million), Ball Field work ($2 million), Tennis Center improvement and parking lot ($2.7 million, and rebuilding the golf maintenance center and t=the new parking area ($1.5 million), according to Winnetka Park District’s website.
Some $5 million of the costs will be funded from a 2011 revenue bond that will be repaid over 20 years from the district’s operating income, the remaining costs will be funded from the district’s reserve or will be paid from the district funds, the district website said.
The synthetic turf's initial cost of $1 million is five times as much as grass, which costs $200,000 for its installation. But officials point to the long-term benefits of turf: decreased maintenance costs in coming years and more playable days. In light of flooding and weather issues, officials believe the turf will pay off in the end.
Winnetka Park District Executive Director Terry Schwartz told Winnetka Talk that the new synthetic fields are expected to be a revenue producer, with a group already agreeing to a six-year contract to use the field, which could generated between $80,000 and $90,000 annually.