Construction at Thornton Park in Ottawa set to begin April 26

Splash pad highlights improvements being made to the park

A splash pad is among the improvements coming to Thornton Park when construction starts the week of April 26.

The improvements for the park are funded by an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant — a grant that covers 50% of the $558,239 it will cost to have Hacienda Landscaping renovate the park. The project will cost the city of Ottawa $305,100.

The new improvements include the aforementioned splash pad, new playground equipment, refurbished tennis courts, two pickleball courts, a basketball court, rehabilitation work on the shelter. There also will be improvements to the plaza, a game table, a bags set and the existing dolphin and turtle structures will be moved to an art walk adjacent to the playground.

Construction on the project should be finished by the end of July, according to Ottawa officials.

The city applied for the grant that allowed the project to move forward in 2019 to support its redevelopment plan. Ideas for what renovations the park would receive came from surveys collected at a Thornton Park open house where the public was encouraged to submit suggestions.