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Park district board hears plans for clubhouse at mini golf course

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DECATUR — The Decatur Park District Board of Commissioners heard plans Wednesday for the design of a multifaceted clubhouse to accompany the miniature golf course to be built in Nelson Park this summer.

Local architect Larry Livergood presented the plans to the board for the structure, which would include a “pro shop,” arcade, outdoor seating and space for another vendor. As the proposed “Overlook Adventure Park” develops, the building could be expanded.

“We’re talking about an area that is going to be developed over a considerable amount of time,” he said. “One of the challenges that we have here is whatever we start with has to be flexible enough so that it can accommodate future growth at the time future growth happens.”

The park district previously hired Indiana-based Weber Group Inc. at $1.2 million to design and build the 36-hole mini golf course, which is expected to have a theme related to the animals at Scovill Zoo. The district has set aside another $800,000 for the clubhouse and adjacent parking lot.

The course is a key feature of the ongoing lakefront development and would be the first step in the “adventure park” that could ultimately encompass indoor and outdoor water parks, batting cages and a rock-climbing wall.

In other business, the board approved an ordinance to govern how people with disabilities can use mobility devices, such as Segways or motorized scooters, on district property, including bike trails.

Manual and electric wheelchairs are not included in the ordinance, as they are already permitted on park district property.

The ordinance requires the devices to be controlled by someone who has a mobility impairment. The device must operate by an electric-powered engine with a maximum decibel level of 55 or less; must not travel faster than four miles per hour in a facility and 12 miles per hour in a park or trail; and if outside, should not weigh more than 250 pounds.

The move was suggested as part of the district’s transition plan to conform to new standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It’s always positive to see persons with disabilities out on the trail so that we truly serve a cross-section of our community,” park district Executive Director Bill Clevenger said.

Commissioners also learned that Scovill Zoo’s long-awaited penguin exhibit will not receive its inhabitants until late summer or early fall. Officials had hoped the exhibit would be ready in time for the birds to greet their new home in the spring.

Jim Kiefer, director of operations, said some life-safety equipment required for the exhibit is taking longer than anticipated to arrive. Inclement weather also has affected the construction.|(217) 421-6986


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