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Dominik Mattioli (left), an intern with RHMG, and Chris Bouchard, an assistant engineer with the company, hammer in a stake Wednesday marking a corner of where a shelter will be built at Rotary Park in La Salle. The park’s grand opening is scheduled for July 6.
The first phase of La Salle Rotary Park is just a couple months away from opening to the public, but there’s still a bit of work to be done. Park engineers were on site Wednesday to mark the location of shelters and benches that will be built and installed soon. “I’m determined to get this place (finished),” said Gary Gearhart, head of the Rotary Park Foundation, noting that he’s been pushing everyone involved to get the last of the park finished in time for a Saturday, July 6 grand opening. The original June grand opening was pushed back because of the recent heavy rains. The main shelter being staked out yesterday will be the Rotary shelter, named in honor of local Rotary club’s that donated money for the parts and labor of installing it. The shelter will be located on the hill behind the large handicapped-accessible playground that was constructed in the fall. “The view is going to be magnificent,” he said, referring to the view of the valley on the backside of the park leading toward U.S. 6 and the Illinois River. The first stage of the park includes the playground, two soccer fields, a small fishing pond and a parking lot. A dog park may be open in time for the grand opening, but it will certainly be open this summer, Gearhart said. The Rotary Park Foundation is leading a fundraising campaign to pay for the second phase of development. “When you go out there you can see the incredible potential this park has,” Gearhart said. In other Rotary Park news, Mayor Jeff Grove earlier this week said the Rotary Park development committee will be dissolving. “The job’s been done, we have a comprehensive plan,” Grove said during Tuesday night’s city council meeting. La Salle Rotary Park is located on the Troy Grove Blacktop about a mile north of U.S. 6.