Capital Projects & Improvements

Capital Projects & Improvements

The Wheaton Park District continues to work to improve your parks. View summaries for projects currently in planning or construction phases in addition to recently completed projects.

If you’d like to know more about any of these projects, please contact the Parks and Planning Department at 630-653-5429.

Projects Currently in Planning or Construction

Memorial Park Master Plan

Project Details

Update 2/14/19

Thank you to all of the stakeholders who have attended our design progress and renovation meetings in November and January.

As we are nearing the completion of design development, we contracted a construction management firm in January to provide an independent estimate of the current project scope. Unfortunately, their estimate substantially exceeded our $5.1 million construction budget. Our team will be working hard to find ways to bring the project back into budget or consider sources of additional funding to meet the original project goals and what will provide the most impact for park users. We hope to be able to provide these recommendations in April.

To conclude with some good news, we learned recently that the project was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant. This program provides funding for projects that encourage outdoor recreation. We all know the state financial concerns, but the source of this funding comes from a portion of the real estate transfer tax that is dedicated specifically to this program.

Finally, our construction schedule has been revised (in part due to the above concerns) to start in August. This will allow many of our events such as the municipal band, Music Mondays , and Brewfest to remain at Memorial Park this summer. We are optimistic that this delayed start will not affect the ability to have the park renovations done by June 2020.

Project Details

Presentation from Memorial Park Plan Meeting – January 9, 2019

Memorial Park Renovations Presentation (PDF)
Memorial Park Stakeholders Meeting Summary (PDF)

Summary & Presentation from Memorial Park Plan Meeting – November 17, 2018

Memorial Park Renovations Presentation (PDF)
Memorial Park Stakeholders Meeting Summary (PDF)

Historic Memorial Park is the district’s oldest park and has added to our quality of life for nearly 100 years! Close to downtown and close to home, the park is a popular site where many play, enjoy nature, attend music and social events, raise money for charities, and honor our veterans and other loved ones no longer with us. The park is also the hub of the district’s Mary Lubko Center, visited by thousands of active adults annually, and is home to the Wheaton Municipal Band.

In 2016, the district contracted with Kimley Horn, an architectural design firm, to develop concepts for the future of Memorial Park. Kimley Horn then hosted a series of focus groups to gather input from stakeholders including community partners, neighbors of the park, program users, and special event attendees.

From there, Kimley Horn developed conceptual plans for the site, which were presented to the district’s Board of Commissioners at its April 2017 meeting. The concept focuses on enhancing the amphitheater, renovating the veterans memorial, making building modifications to the Mary Lubko Center, and implementing parking improvements.

Conceptual image #1 for Memorial Park Master Plan
Conceptual image #2 for Memorial Park Master Plan
Conceptual image #3 for Memorial Park Master Plan

Central Park Improvements

The Wheaton Park District has been continuing to improve the Central Athletic Complex. Many of the site renovations were completed in 2016 including the plaza for winter ice skating. In January 2018, upgraded batting cages and the WDSRA’s Rec and Roll area were opened. We are now in the planning phases for upgrading the interior lobby. Plans include redoing the floors, enlarging the lobby slightly under the existing canopy to create more space and allow for a front desk at the entrance, building an interior concessions area and updating the restrooms. We are also working on phase two of the entrance garden at the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Road that welcomes visitors to downtown Wheaton. See the plan below!

Play for All Treehouse – DuPage Sensory Garden Playground

The Park District has partnered with Wheaton Kiwanis, Western DuPage Special Recreation, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and several other local partners to create a play area that serves special needs children and is welcoming to everyone. Phase 1, including the Pony Stables Playground, the Sound and Fragrance gardens and the Central Gathering Area are completed and open to the public. The larger vision for this area includes a play-for-all accessible treehouse for which we are nearing our fundraising goals, allowing us to break ground in 2018.

Accessible Treehouse Plan (PDF)

If you would like to learn more about this project or become involved, please visit

Lincoln Marsh Prairie Patch Play Area

In the summer of 2018, the Wheaton Park District will break ground on a nature play area within the 151-acre Lincoln Marsh Natural Area. The location of the play area is adjacent to the Lincoln Avenue entrance.

Prairie Patch Play Area Concept (PDF)
Map of Play Area Addition (PDF)

Research indicates nature play positively impacts children’s social, emotional, intellectual and physical well-being. The concept of a nature play area, devoid of the typical playground equipment, is that it brings children and their families together to explore, play and learn in an unstructured and natural environment. Nature play areas include elements that encourage self-guided, unstructured play. As the name indicates, many of these elements are natural, such as logs and boulders.

The project is being funded through the ComEd Green Region Grant and Friends of the Lincoln Marsh.

Use an Interactive Map to browse Capital Projects & Park Improvements

Screen capture image of capital projects and park improvements interactive map that links to interactive map

Recently Completed

Rec and Roll – Western DuPage Special Recreation Association

The park district recently completed renovation of a section of the Central Athletic Complex for use by the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association as an adult day program called Rec and Roll. This new facility is focused on providing activities and community for individuals aged 22-55 with intellectual disabilities. Rec and Roll opened for use on January 8, 2018.

Cosley Animal Welcome Center

In order to meet American Zoo and Aquarium accreditation requirements, the park district worked with Kmiecik Architects to plan and construct the Animal Welcome Center at the Cosley Zoo. The facility allows us to safely bring animals into the zoo after a short quarantine period that ensures they are healthy and not a concern for the other animals. It is located on the east side of Gary Avenue, adjacent to the staff parking lot.

Rathje Park Improvements

The park district recently completed plans to repair the shoreline and improve the quality of the pond at Rathje Park. This park is a popular location for fishing in the summer and ice skating in the winter. The project also included replacement of the parking lot with permeable pavers and a rain garden near the preschool building to collect storm water run-off.

While these improvements will benefit water quality, we will continue to treat for invasive plants and algae growth that has occurred at this pond and others throughout the district. This problem is often more prevalent in the spring due to stratification. More information is available at Lake Stratification and Mixing (PDF)

Lead in Drinking Water Inspections

Lead in drinking water has been a recent concern in the news. Inspections were performed at all of our facilities to ensure we were meeting requirements that are applicable to other public agencies. After analyzing water samplings, Lead Inspector USA, Inc. reported that “All systems sampled are below the Limits for lead in Drinking water” (Lead in Drinking Water Report, Topp). Detailed findings are summarized by assessment dates:

Scottdale Park Playground

The Park District recently replaced the playground that was installed in 1998. The playground equipment was selected based on feedback received from neighbors and staff. Playground surfacing was selected for consistency of safety and accessibility. The new playground was opened in November of 2017. The old playground was disassembled and refurbished by Kids Around the World and will be used in Belize.

District Wide Asphalt Improvements

Park district staff maintains approximately 1.8 million square feet of pavement throughout the district and budgets annually for replacement over a 20 year period. Each year projects are assessed to replace the highest priorities. In the spring of 2017, work was done to replace the northern half of the paths at Atten Park, repair the Park Services Center parking lots, and replace portions of the Arrowhead Golf Course cart paths. Fall 2017 projects included replacing the southern half of the paths at Atten Park, as well as the playground paths at Scottdale Park.

Future Endeavors

Rice Pool Improvements

The pool at the Community Center was constructed in 1988 and needs improvements and new amenities that are desired by our visitors. Some improvements include: replacing the aging perimeter fence, play features in the zero depth and children’s area, sand tables, and an aquatic climbing wall. A consulting firm has been hired to create conceptual designs for some of these improvements.

Seven Gables Path Improvements

Seven Gables Park is the hub for the park district’s soccer programs and a host of other sports such as youth baseball, softball, lacrosse, and tennis. Together these amenities make Seven Gables a destination park within the community. Since the park is heavily utilized, the park district is planning to improve pedestrian circulation within the park by separating it from vehicle circulation. The park district is also seeking firms to conduct a traffic study to measure the impact that park activities have on the neighborhoods surrounding the park.

Future Playground Replacements

The Park District has a plan to replace aging playgrounds as they reach the end of their designed lifespan. Some playgrounds that may see improvements in coming years include Kelly Park, Hoffman Park, and Hawthorne Junction. Additionally, Presidents Park may see new playground equipment as part of an overhaul of the park master plan to deal with repeated flooding. As always, the playground renovations will rely heavily on feedback received from neighbors and staff and will on consistency of safety and accessibility.


The Wheaton Park District strives to provide quality parks and facilities for our patrons. We welcome your ideas and suggestions. While we may not be able to implement all of these, your input is important to us as we consider projects for the future.

Share your thoughts with us

Capital Projects & Park Improvements Interactive Map