LAKE IN THE HILLS – When Lake in the Hills asked elementary students what equipment they’d like to see in the village’s three parks, several asked for a Dairy Queen to be installed.
“We thought what a better way to find out what kids want than to go to the kids,” Parks and Recreation Director Laura Barron said.
Although there are no plans for a new Dairy Queen, trustees on Thursday approved spending $341,000 on three playground equipment sets for Ryder, Ken Carpenter and Sunset parks.
Barron said the equipment will be delivered in the next six weeks, and staff hopes to have it installed by July 4.
Staff solicited input from students of Lincoln Prairie and Lake in the Hills elementary schools, and received a lot of fun, but costly, responses, such as a “Star Wars”-themed park that could do special effects and having trampolines.
“They came up with designs and gave us drawings and essays,” Barron said. “We got a lot of sports-theme requests and bright colors.”
Ryder Park, which is adjacent to baseball fields, will have a baseball-themed park with red, white and blue colors. The park will have two apparatus for younger and older children with slides and climbing equipment.
Sunset Park will feature outdoor musical instruments, such as a xylophone or drums. Barron said music in parks is a new trend.
Ken Carpenter Park’s equipment will remain red, have new equipment, a shade structure and reconfigured path. Currently, a bike path runs through the park.
All three playgrounds were installed in 1998 and maintenance of the playgrounds is becoming challenging because of increased difficulty in finding replacement parts, according to village documents. Safety standards also have changed over the last 20 years and the village wants to stay in compliance.
Ryder Park will cost $93,000, Ken Carpenter Park playground will cost $127,410 and Sunset Park for $120,000, village documents show.