Evanston aldermen Monday are scheduled to approve seeking grant funding to cover part of the cost of a $1.45 million project to add artificial turf and lighting to the Lovelace Park soccer field in northwest Evanston.
Monday night’s proposal is to seek a $250,000 grant from the US Soccer Foundation. Staff plans to also seek a $400,000 grant from the state’s Open Space and Land Acquisition and Development program.
The rest of the cost, about $800,000, would be covered by the city’s capital improvement program.
The proposal would expand the field from its current size of 100 by 70 years to 125 by 75 yards.
Public Works Director Suzette Robinson, in a memo to aldermen, says the project will “dramatically increase field availablity and extend the playing season” and usable hours.
She says AYSO and Team Evanston soccer programs now have to limit their programs of find playing fields outside the city.
And she says overuse of the field has resulted in substandard conditions.
With the artificial turf, she says, the field will be able to be used much more intensively, and the athletic field lights will dramatically increase available playing hours, especially in the fall and spring.
Assuming funding is received, the plan is to rebuild the field during the summer of 2015.
Update 11:05 a.m. 5/20/14: The City Council unanimously approved the grant application Monday night.