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Edwardsville launches campaign to fund splash park, teen center, sports park
















From Illinois Business Journal news services

 EDWARDSVILLE – A Spray & Play Park, an ice rink/teen center and a multi-use sports park are the centerpieces of a $12 million, multipronged, fund-raising effort launched today.

The campaign, called “A Better Place to Play,” was announced at a press conference this morning by Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton and the executive committee.

Patton explained that the projects will benefit the residents of Edwardsville and Glen Carbon as well as families throughout the region who visit these parks for play.

“This is an incredible opportunity to have a true impact on the future of recreation in this wonderful community. We are seeking a combination of funding for each project to include our Park’s Capital Improvement Fund, corporate sponsorships, grant funding and donations from area families wishing to have a true impact on the future of recreation in our community. Through our partnership with the Edwardsville Community Foundation, tax deductible gifts can be made to the overall campaign or to the individual projects.”

The ice rink/teen center will offer a walking track and concession stand for visiting parents as well as equipment rental, study areas and lounge for athletes from home and visiting teams. Patton said the rink will be located on city leased property behind District 7’s all-surface, outdoor track off Governors’ Parkway, and will help alleviate local athletes’ need to go out of town often up to 30 miles or more, for ice time.

The campaign also has plans for a Spray & Play park near Main and Schwarz streets, behind the city’s future public safety facility now planned for the old Madison County Sheltered Care site. This park will feature a splash pad and dry playground designed with special ADA standards built into the site. It also will include a walking/fitness track, shade structures, pavilions and restrooms/changing rooms. The Spray & Play park will be built behind Edwardsville’s future public safety facility and is already partially funded by an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grants grant of $400,000 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, a Park & Trail Grant of $300,000 from Metro East Park & Recreation District and a donation of $30,000 from Edwardsville Rotary, which was presented to the city by the organization at the press conference.

The city has also applied for an additional grant in the amount of $133,000 from the Madison County Park Enhancement Program.

The third project for “A Better Place to Play” is the sports park, which will be located near the Interstate 55 corridor. It will be equipped for softball, baseball, soccer, field hockey, basketball and pickleball. The complex will have special accommodations for those with special needs and will add to the region’s facilities for tournament and recreational play.

This campaign started in response to a survey conducted in June 2014 on the City’s Parks and Recreation Facebook page asking for public input on the community’s recreational needs. The survey indicated that a large majority wanted more recreational facilities and believe grants and donations are the best way to make it happen. The City has applied for multiple grants and while they anticipate they will receive a large majority of what is needed for three major facilities, there is still a need. Committees have been formed to help in the planning of each project to make sure the community’s goals are accurately met.

“We want to make these facilities true assets, and in some cases, money making entities for the community,” added Mayor Patton. “This campaign aims to improve the quality of life for everyone, regardless of age, race or socioeconomics. We have an opportunity to strengthen the Edwardsville community by providing recreation for area citizens to improve their health, combat obesity and build stronger family bonds. The development of these three projects relies on grants, donations and City Capital Improvement Funds, not new tax dollars, and will positively impact our community as they keep dollars local and bring in families and teams from other towns, people that will be eating in our restaurants, shopping at our stores and staying overnight at our hotels.”

Individuals, families and corporations can make donations to a specific campaign, or they can choose to make a general donation to the “A Better Place to Play” campaign. Sponsorship levels are available to corporate sponsors or private citizens to help fund the development of these projects, including naming right of each park and its features. Patrons can donate through PayPal, by becoming a major sponsor or by making a 2-year pledge commitment. The “A Better Place to Play” campaign is a partnership with the Edwardsville Community Foundation making all sponsorships and donations tax deductible.

Those interested in learning more about the campaign can find information online at or call (618) 692-7538. “A Better Place to Play” can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Ice Rink/Teen Center Facts

• Total Estimated Cost: $7 million
• 43,000-sq.-ft. facility to serve the growing demand for ice time
• Located off Governor’s Parkway
• Includes ice rink, locker rooms, teen center, 4-lane indoor track and fitness center
• Major Sponsorship Opportunities for Ice Rink/Teen Center
o Building Naming Rights: $2 million
o Teen Center: $75,000
o Fitness Area: $50,000
o Locker Rooms (2): $50,000/each
o Concession Area: $50,000
o Skate Rental: $15,000
o Track: $50,000
• Anticipated Grant Funding: $2.8 million
• Goal for Sponsorships: $2.34 million
• Community Fundraising Goal: $3 million

Spray & Play Park FAQ

• Total Estimated Cost: $2 Million
• Centrally located 3-acre park
• Meets and/or exceeds ADA standards
• Fully Accessible Spray Ground & Playground
• Located behind the future Public Safety Facility on IL-159 (Schwarz & Main)
• Includes oversized water features, playground, restrooms/concessions, shade structures, walking/fitness trail & nature features
• Park will serve an area currently without a park in walking distance
• Anticipated Grant Funding: $833,000
• Goal for Sponsorships: $760,000
• Community Fundraising Goal: $500,000
• Major Sponsorship Opportunities for Spray & Play Park
• Splash Pad Park Naming Rights: $500,000
• Fitness Trail: $50,000
• Picnic Shelter: $50,000
• Restrooms/Changing Rooms: $100,000
• Playground: $40,000
• Shade Structures: $5,000/each

Sports Park Facts

• Total Estimated Cost: $3 million
• State-of-the-art facility near I-55 corridor
• Offers multiple soccer, baseball and softball fields, including an all-accessible field meeting ADA standards
• Serves those with special needs
• Pickleball and basketball courts
• Concessions and Restrooms
• Playground
• Anticipated Grant Funding: $400,000
• Goal for Sponsorships: $1.67 million
• Community Fundraising Goal: $2 million
• Major Sponsorship Opportunities for Sports Complex
o Park Naming Rights: $500,000
o Accessible Baseball/ Softball Fields: $200,000
o Regulation High School Baseball/Softball Fields (3): $100,000/each
o Softball Fields (4): $75,000
o Lighted Soccer Fields (4): $50,000/each
o Concession/Restroom Buildings (2-3): $100,000
o Playground: $40,000
o Pickleball Courts: $50,000

Campaign FAQs

1. Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, all donations to the Better Place to Play Campaign are tax deductible

2. What happens if I make a donation but the goal is not met?
Multiple sources of revenue will be utilized for completing the three projects. If the cost for a single project exceeds the dollars we are able to collect form grants, donations, existing funds, and non-property tax funds, then we will return the contribution to the donor. The “All Three” Account donations can be used to fund any of the projects.

3. Can an individual make a donation?
All individuals in our community and beyond can make a donation to the Better Place to Play Campaign.

4. Can a company make a donation and how will we be recognized?
Yes, corporate and private sponsorship levels are available to help fund the development of these projects. All sponsorships and donations are tax deductible. Please visit our “Sponsorship Page” for specific information on sponsorship levels along with ways your business or person can be recognized in the community.

5. What is the smallest level of giving?
No amount of contribution is too small or too large. While specific levels of contributions can be made for naming rights, any donation moves us closer to our goal. With each donation, you are making an investment in local parks and recreation and helping fund fun for everyone.

6. If funded through this effort, how will the maintenance of these facilities be funded? Will tax dollars be used?
Sponsorships and donations are important to build our park infrastructure. Maintenance of these facilities can be funded through the existing park levy and user fees. New tax dollars may not be necessary, but donations from recreational and sports enthusiasts willing to support more facilities for area residents to stay active and healthy will help make these projects a reality. Moving forward, tournaments, events, and ice time fees will help pay for the facilities.

7. Will the addition of these facilities cause our real estate taxes to increase?
A Better Place to Play Campaign is relying on grants and donations, not new tax dollars. The heart of this campaign is based on feedback from residents wanting more recreational facilities like ball fields and a hockey rink/teen center. These facilities will positively impact our community as they keep dollars local and bring in families and teams from other towns…people that will be eating in our restaurants, shopping at our stores and staying overnight at our hotels.

8. Does Edwardsville really need these facilities?
Last year a survey was conducted on the City’s Parks and Recreation Facebook page asking for public input on the community’s recreational needs. The results of that survey indicated that 92% of 880 respondents either agreed or agreed strongly that Edwardsville would benefit from additional recreational facilities.

9. What if I can’t decide which facility I want to support? Can I make a general donation?
Yes, individuals and corporations alike can make a general donation to the “All Three” campaign account and it will be used as general campaign funds.

10. My family would like to make a donation in our family name. What options are available to accommodate our request?
Please review the “Sponsorship Page” for more details on the many options available for your family.

11. My company/family would like naming rights of one of the facilities. Are naming rights available and at what level of giving?
Yes, naming rights are available and have been designated based on the level of giving. Please visit the “Sponsorship Page” for more detailed information. If you have further questions, please contact The City of Edwardsville at (618) 692-7538.

12. Why is the ice rink located behind District 7 grounds and what tax implications does that cause?
The vision for the ice rink/teen center was for a regional facility to benefit the residents of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Edwardsville Township, and the entire county. Students can have easy access to this location for physical education or after school studying. The location off Governor’s Parkway will provide quick access to the MCT bike trail system and be convenient for SIUE athletes/students. The ground was provided for a $1/year lease.

13. There is already an abundance of traffic on Center Grove Road. How will the increase in traffic be accounted for now that there are three major sports facilities being utilized within the Sports Complex?
Access will be off Governor’s Parkway and the additional parking should benefit Little Tiger Football and EHS track events.

14. What levels of ball play are allowed at the new baseball fields? Will it accommodate all levels from little league to college play?
Yes, the ball fields will accommodate all levels of play from children newly introduced to the wonderful sport of baseball until adulthood. Many can attest that there is a need for more baseball and soccer fields in our area, and this campaign intends to build true, technology-driven recreational assets for families to enjoy for years to come.

15. Why do we need more baseball and soccer fields and how will these be different?
As our community continues to grow, more baseball and soccer fields are necessary to accommodate the need. Also home to SIUE and District 7, more children (and adults) are invested in baseball and soccer than ever before. In addition, these new fields will bring in additional revenue for Edwardsville and Glen Carbon, offering larger, regulation and state-of-the-art fields for players near and far as well as those with disabilities.

16. Will there be a fee to access the splash pad?
No, the splash pad and surrounding park including walking trail will be free for all to enjoy and will not include an admission fee.

17. What happens to the money that is exchanged for ice time at the ice rink and field time at the ball fields? Will the City be able to collect revenue from their use?
The ice rink and fields will be maintained and utilized through money collected, operating much like any for-profit business would. Tournaments, food/concession sales, and paying for ice time and/or field time will go towards the upkeep of the facilities, managing them, and paying for any employees providing the services.



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