Plans are in the works to create a new way for local tots to peer into the past.
Naperville City Council members will consider granting the go-ahead at Tuesday evening’s meeting on modification of the Fort Payne exhibit at Naper Settlement. The space will be intended to add attractions of particular appeal to young children ages 2 to 7.
The Rita (Fredenhagen) and John Harvard Early Learning Playscape will feature a pint-sized water park with a splash pad, including ground-based misting devices, functional hand-water and water-spouting cannons; climbing equipment with a fort theme; a kid-scaled trading post; an overhaul of the Conestoga wagon area to enhance access; new sensory and butterfly gardens; and family picnic space.
Creating the new amenity at the downtown Naperville outdoor history museum will require ground preparation; installation of curbs, walks and other paved areas; site furnishings; playground equipment; protective playground surfaces; fencing and landscaping.
Tradespeople specializing in plumbing, electrical work, drainage and stone masonry also will be involved in the project, “a planned capital project of the Naperville Heritage Society designed to engage the community’s youngest members in an outdoor exhibit that offers physical, imaginative, and social experiences in an educational and fun environment,” according to a council memo.
Estimates of the project cost fell slightly short of the seven bids submitted for the work for both the full project and alternate options that remove some of the features to cut costs.
The fiscal 2015 budget provides $262,000, and the Heritage Society has pledged an additional $181,544 to cover the cost, which was projected at $409,844. The lowest quote received exceeded that estimate by more than $15,000, so council members will be asked to approve an alternate that cuts the expense to $417,851, which came from Kee Construction of Chicago.
City coffers won’t absorb the higher bids.
“The Naperville Heritage Society has successfully raised the funds necessary to cover the contract award amount above and beyond the city of Naperville’s (capital improvement project) allocation, and agrees the city of Naperville will not be responsible for any funding over and above the CIP budget of $262,000,” the memo states.
The City Council will meet in open session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers in the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville.