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O’Fallon presents designs for O’Day Park, Alligator’s Creek Aquatics

The current Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center. O’Fallon officials hope to complete an expansion by May 2018. [City of O’Fallon photo]

Plans are coming together for two major park projects in O’Fallon. At its March 23 workshop meeting, the O’Fallon City Council reviewed presentations on designs for the new O’Day Park and an expansion of Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center in Civic Park.

Last August, a majority of O’Fallon residents voted to fund improvements for the two projects. An open house showcasing the designs will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 in the food court at O’Fallon City Hall, 100 North Main Street.

Jim Wolterman of SWT Design presented the schematic design for O’Day Park, saying the plans call for a unique, destination park on a 57-acre wooded tract off of Hwy. DD.

Plans include an activity and conference center, a camping area, trails, an amphitheater and an adventure playground area.

The activity and conference center will have a capacity of approximately 320 people, with parking adjacent to the facility, per the current designs.

“What a great amenity that this will be for the overall park,” Wolterman said.

The building has rotated about 45 degrees from prior plans, which allows for greater visibility, and better integrates the center into the land’s natural topography. Parking also has moved further from the property line, Wolterman explained.

O’Day Park’s current designs also include a camping area, which has moved further south into the park from previous designs.

Discussing the new location, Wolterman described it as the “perfect place for camping.”

A special and unique playground area also will dot the park, Wolterman said. The extensive, adventure playground will include climbing, water and active play zones.

“We just really don’t want to have the same thing that is found in the other parks in the county, the region, the state,” Wolterman said.

Parking also will be located near the playground area.

Describing the design process as a yardstick, Wolterman said his team is currently only about 12 to 14 inches along in the process.

“We still have a lot of thinking, a lot of design to do but we have a great foundation that is built at this point,” he said.

Meanwhile, expansion plans at Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center in Civic Park are near the end of the schematic design process. Expansion include increasing pool capacity by 300 to 400 people, adding new lazy river and spray pad features and modifying the existing pool. Fifty-three additional parking spots also are part of the plan. At the March 23 workshop, the city council heard it will have to make a decision to finish the process.

The original plans called for adding a new combined bath house and program facility but the design team proposed separating the two facilities.

The combined facility would have two levels, with the bath house beneath the program facility. The other option has the bath house and pool support building near the pool deck with the program facility located in the northeastern quadrant of Civic Park.

Separating the buildings minimizes tree removal and moves the program facility closer to the majority of parking, Kerry Newman of SFS Architects said.

Councilmembers said they would need to see the costs and review the pros and cons of the options before making a decision.

The program facility will include multi-purpose rooms, classrooms, storage space and a catering kitchen.

Both the O’Day Park and Civic Park projects will go out for bid around August, Parks and Recreation Director Cindy Springer said.

The design team intends to start O’Day Park construction this fall, with completion scheduled by the end of 2018. Aquatic center construction should begin in September with the opening planned by Memorial Day 2018.

“It’s going to be a busy couple years, but we are trying to move these [projects] along as simultaneously as possible,” she said.

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