Joliet Park District officials, residents and other community members celebrated the grand opening of Warren-Sharpe Park with a ribbon cutting.
The Oct. 5 event was made possible thanks to the 2014 approval of a referendum, which aimed to support seven city parks.
Joliet Park District executive director Tom Carstens said this project was targeted for improvement to help address part of the community they serve, which is great.
“We had a lot of compliments on it,” he said. “Kids love it. It just opened up… It’s one of our newer systems [equipped] with [what] is called pour and play. It’s the top safety surface for a playground.”
Warren-Sharpe Park occupies a 0.2-acre corner lot that joins Jasper and Joliet streets. It consists of four pieces of playground equipment, which are maintained by the Joliet Park District and owned by Warren-Sharpe Community Center.
“[The playground] was old, and it just needed to be replaced with new equipment,” Carstens said.
Typically, playground equipment has a 20- to 25-year life cycle.
Renovations to the corner lot also added four parking spaces for patrons to put to use.
A lease agreement was initially formed between the Joliet Park District and Warren-Sharpe Community Center in September 1991. A short time later, the park opened to the public.
Carstens said he thinks this is a lasting partnership the Joliet Park District and Warren-Sharpe Community Center have formed.
Throughout the summer and fall, the Joliet Park District hosted grand opening and groundbreaking events for seven parks.
Carstens stressed that passing the referendum served as a viable option.
“You can always place [the projects] in the budget, however, because this was a need for many parks to be done, it was part of a referendum,” Carstens said. “It was a large ticket item, and it’s not a small project.”
All city parks are required to go through a safety inspection monthly. The 2014 referendum helped support Garnsey/Marcum, Heggie, West, Marquette, Manningdale, Grove Road and Warren-Sharpe parks.
The work performed to each park is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $120,000.
“We’re real excited that we could do something on this side of town, like what we’re doing with the new Nowell Recreation Center over off of Chicago [Street,]” Carstens said. “It’s awesome.”