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Overlook playground

An artist's rendering of the new Overlook Adventure Park playground, part of the lakefront development at Nelson Park.

DECATUR -- The Decatur Park District made another attraction at Overlook Adventure Park a reality at its board of commissioners meeting on Wednesday, approving the purchase of a playground.

The new playground will be between Cherry Berry and what will eventually be the new water park near U.S. 36 at 2501 E. Nelson Park Road. Park district director of operations Ryan Raleigh said the playground will look similar to the Scovill Zoo playground but have different features.

"It's the same theme as far as the high-peaked roofs and color scheme -- it's a scheme we use throughout the district," Raleigh said. "It has slides, decks and a musical component like the one at the zoo, but also has some high rope features and things to climb on and up."

The total cost for the playground is $146,000, but that cost will be split because of a matching grant from playground equipment manufacturer GameTime. The $80,135 -- half the cost plus shipping -- the park district is paying for comes from an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant from the state in 2015.

"The GameTime grant program allowed us to get a bigger playground for the money, which was nice," Raleigh said. "It's something they've done the last two years. GameTime is the main supplier we use -- most of our playgrounds are GameTime. We worked with them to design it." 

Raleigh said construction on the new playground will have to wait until the design for the new water park, approved at the Nov. 2 meeting, is established.

"Because of the grant (the matching grant from GameTime), we had to get it approved now, but we can't do this until we know exactly what we're doing with the pool," Raleigh said. "We're dealing with different elevations and how to get them to match up.

"There's no set time, but it could be late next summer."

The Overlook Adventure Park portion of the lakefront development at Nelson Park already includes a miniature golf course, and restaurants Cherry Berry and Ted's Taters. A high ropes course and batting cages are expected to be up and running by Spring 2017, with the $9.2 million water park coming in 2018.

The ropes course, batting cages and playground, as well as a new pavilion in Nelson Park by the dog park, will be paid for out of the 2015 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant that was delayed because of the state budget impasse. The grant is matching, with the state supplying $400,000 and the park district matching the $400,000 plus $197,830 from its capital fund.

In other business, the board voted to levy $9,602,500. As was previously reported, the tax rate remained $1.15 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation.

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Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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