Cleanup scheduled to begin soon at Sportsman’s Park in Naperville

The long-awaited cleanup of Sportsman’s Park is set to begin within the next week to 10 days, after the Naperville Park Board awarded a contract Thursday night for just under $3 million to Environmental Contractors Inc.

The 27-acre park site is near downtown Naperville. Parks officials have been working for nearly three years to meet an order from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to remove lead that built up in the soil over several decades of trapshooting in 17 acres of the park, which sits southwest of Oswego Road and West Street on land the district leases from the city.

The contract was set to be approved last month during the board’s April 23 meeting, but action was tabled after the Park District received a letter from the DuPage County Division of Environmental Concerns during the afternoon before the meeting regarding the project.

Park District Executive Director Ray McGury told commissioners there was a discussion on Monday among various local constituents and that “matters that needed clarifying were ironed out.”

“We met with the general contractor, along with representatives from the city, the county and ourselves and worked out any of the questions they had,” McGury said, adding that “it was very productive meeting.”

“People assured us they weren’t trying to stymie us in anyway but that there were just some translation issues we needed to get rectified and now we’re in good shape,” he said.

Park Distrct Director of Planning Eric Shutes said that the consulting firm Chicago Bridge and Iron Company “is finishing details with DuPage County” and that the city of Naperville is ready to issue an approval letter to get the project started.

“We had a productive, collaborative meeting and all we had to do was resubmit some things,” Shutes said. “At this point, the project is already to go.”

The contract includes a 5-percent contingency fund should the Environmental Concerns firm find more hazardous material than expected.

“We’ve done extensive tests and soil samples and we’re hoping we have a good idea about what’s there and we’ll find no surprises,” McGury said. “At this point, we’re just holding our breath and keeping our fingers crossed.”

The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year and will include soil remediation, earthwork, trails, trap range lighting and landscaping installation of an asphalt access drive, and ADA accessible shooting stations.