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Normal to move forward with Maxwell Park improvements

Normal to move forward with Maxwell Park improvements

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NORMAL — Renovations to Maxwell Park ballfields and amenities will begin as soon as weather permits, Normal officials said Friday.

The Normal Town Council on Monday will consider approving a $375,383.05 contract with Stark Excavating Inc. for its planned $800,000 project to renovate Maxwell Park, including new bocce courts and improved baseball fields.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that we’re making these improvements to enhance Maxwell Park, which is a location that draws people from out of town on a regular basis,” said Cathy Oloffson, communications director.

The town opened bids for the project on Jan. 14 and received one bid from Stark Excavating Inc., a Bloomington-based contractor, for $375,383.05.

Normal has planned several improvements to Maxwell Park since 2018, when the town applied to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant.

The town received a $400,000 grant award through the OSLAD program, and the town committed to match $400,000 for the project for a total of $800,000, said Oloffson.

Construction and site improvements began last year but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Oloffson. The project will need to be complete by the end of May to meet the IDNR grant requirements. 

Planned improvements include:

  • Disc golf course reconfiguration
  • Cross county course enhancements
  • Updated Maxwell South ballfields
  • Resized dog park
  • Construction of a new bocce court
  • Construction of a new baggo set
  • Multipurpose trail connections
  • New native landscaping and natural habitat restoration
  • Expansion of the existing south parking lot

Each year hundreds of people are brought to Maxwell Park for softball and baseball tournaments, said Oloffson. The park also saw an increase in use during the pandemic as more people were spending time outdoors.

"This project is about enhancing public places within the town of Normal," said Oloffson, adding, "When we can attract new residents and visitors to the community, that benefits everyone."

The council will also consider a $862,923.73 contract with Stark Excavating Inc. for the town's Gregory Street culvert project.

Wind chills of 20 degrees below zero forecast for Central Illinois

Normal received two bids for the project: Stark Excavating Inc. for $862,923.73; and White Construction of Springfield for $952,997.63.

Normal plans to begin rehabilitating the Gregory Street culvert starting this summer after University High School and Illinois State University complete their spring semesters. 

During the project, which will run through August, all lanes of traffic on Gregory Street will be closed.

The project includes replacing the top slab of the culvert and related roadway, creek, and storm and sanitary sewer improvements, utility relocations, and new pedestrian bridges on the north and south sides of the culvert, said Oloffson.

In other business, the town council will consider several resolutions for approval:

  • A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement with Republic Services — Bloomington Transfer Station for the transfer and disposal of solid waste collected by the town.
  • An agreement for the employment of the municipal manager, Pam Reece.
  • A resolution approving an amended site plan for Heartland Community College, 1500 W. Raab Road.

The Normal Town Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday and the meeting will be livestreamed through the town's YouTube page.


Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.

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