Naperville Park District Board members have approved plans to add a retaining wall near the current Park District administration building downtown in light of record flooding last year which forced crews to work all night building a rampart of sandbags to protect the site.
“We had 10 inches of rain last year and the water reached the lower patio,” Park District Executive Director Ray McGury said. “We need this as a safeguard given the fact that these ‘100-year rains’ seem to be coming more frequently.”
Park Board member Ron Ory described the need for the wall as “an operational issue” and said in the overall scheme of things, “the Park District can’t afford not to do it.”
“The fact that we’ve had rain right up to the threshold of the building suggests we can’t ignore this,” Ory said. “Hopefully adding this will do the trick.”
Park District Director of Planning Eric Shutes said erecting the wall later this year would allow the Park District to complete another project that would be undertaken at the same time.
“As part of our ADA program, we have to add an access area from the lower portion of our building out to the path in the event the power goes out and someone in a wheelchair has to get out of the building,” Shutes said. “This would involve making a switch back to the Riverwalk and it makes sense to do that and the retaining wall at the same time.”
Shutes said a total of $140,000 was already built into the 2014 capital budget for the project and that “certain … projects could be switched and moved around” in order to complete the project this year.