Plans are in the works for a complete renovation of the football and baseball fields at Plunkett Park at West Avenue and Utley in Elmhurst.
Immaculate Conception High School uses the primary field for its football, soccer and lacrosse practices, and all of its home games are played there. ICHS announced the multi-phase renovation on Tuesday, but plans have been in the works for more than a year. ICHS is undertaking the renovation in collaboration with Immaculate Conception Grade School and the IC Parish community.
The long-term vision for the field includes installation of a synthetic turf playing surface, a new entry into the stadium, and a new lighting system, spectator seating, concessions and restrooms.
The current natural-grass playing field does not maintain its integrity throughout the season due to the high volume of practices and games played there; adverse weather conditions also take a toll, according to a press release issued Tuesday from ICHS.
Over the past year, ICHS conducted surveys and formed focus groups and ad-hoc committees of IC leaders, parents, students, alumni and members of the Elmhurst community to help create a vision for the future of ICHS. The need to create a safer, more suitable environment at Plunkett Field was consistently among the top three items recommended.
Williams Architects, which also completed the transformation of Berens Park in 2004, has drawn up the master plan for Plunkett. Renovations will begin as soon as funding is available. Phase One, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in May 2013, will include implementation of an underground drainage system and the installation of synthetic turf for the primary field and the outfield of the baseball field.
The cost for Phase I is estimated at $1.9 million. Fund-raising for this project has netted $1.35 million to date, but many of the financial commitments will be made over a multi-year period. IC is seeking to raise an additional $600,000 in order to break ground next May. Diocesan policy states that parish schools must have 100 percent of their funding goal i pledged support, along with 80 percent cash in hand to begin construction.
Those who would like to help get this project off the ground can contact Scott LaMorte, ICHS director of institutional advancement, at (630) 530-3485 or email@example.com. Cash donations, in-kind gifts and other products or services are greatly appreciated.