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Streator examines Central Park for improvements

Old Sherman equipment to be repaired, relocated

The park equipment at the corner of Indiana and Kent streets in Streator has been donated to the city for use in Central Park. The equipment will be relocated in the coming weeks, and future improvements at the park are expected.
The park equipment at the corner of Indiana and Kent streets in Streator has been donated to the city for use in Central Park. The equipment will be relocated in the coming weeks, and future improvements at the park are expected.

The city of Streator has given additional attention to many of its parks, and now it’s Central Park’s turn.

The Streator Parks and Open Spaces Board met Wednesday to discuss improvements at the park as well as where to put the new park equipment being relocated from the corner of Indiana and Kent streets.

The board decided to move the equipment to the south of the shelter on the park’s west side. The equipment has been examined and will be repaired.

Chairman Gary Wheeler suggested the equipment as well as future development focus on the park’s south side

“If we could start shifting things away from the school where all the activity will be, it might be better,” Wheeler said.

The play equipment was donated by The Foreign Service (China) Group, which is the new owner of Sherman School and plans to use the site as a school benefiting both American and Chinese students.

City Manager Scot Wrighton said the company may be willing to donate to the costs and that they may be open to hearing about additional improvements to the park.

Public Works Director Larry Hake said additional improvements include taking down some ash trees as well as fixing pavilion roofing. The swing equipment also will be examined and swings will be refurbished and given new coats of paint.

Hake suggested that, given the play equipment, the site will be more for younger kids.

The board also discussed future improvements with Hake, such as lighting and additional play equipment.

Board member Afton Caulkins suggested it would be nice to add play equipment for toddlers. She said she has traveled to La Salle in the past to find a play location for her 1-year-old.

Hake said some of the swings will be made specifically for smaller kids, but Caulkins suggested some sort of play equipment that’s away from the bigger kids and small enough that it’s only fun for ages 1 to 3.

“I just figured a little slide or something to crawl into,” Caulkins said.

Wheeler also suggested adding lighting to the school.

Board member Steve Broadus noted the lighting shouldn’t be too bright so as to shine into the windows of neighboring homes. He suggested low-level lighting to keep the impact on the surrounding homes low.

“I’m not saying light it up like a football field, but just a little bit more,” Wheeler said.

The park equipment will be moved in the coming weeks, but additional changes such as future playground equipment and lighting will be discussed at a future meeting when the board has a chance to visit the site.

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