Park District triples funding for Jackson Park golf course, related projects

HERALD STAFF REPORT

The Chicago Park District commissioners passed a contract modification Wednesday for “an additional $2,730,475.00 for services required to implement the 2018 South Lakefront Framework Plan recommendations for Jackson Park.”

The modification allocates $3.9 million for “the preparation of design and bid documents” for projects including the Tiger Woods-designed golf course planned to span from Jackson to South Shore parks as well as renovations of the driving range building, golf clubhouse and “South Shore coastline.”

“SmithGroup JJR shall assist the Park District with engineering, landscape architecture, site planning and community process services in support of the South Lakefront Framework Plan implementation,” reads the modification. “The consultant shall develop the framework plan into design and construction documents to be utilized for bid and in the permit application process.”

It enumerates but does not limit the “scope of services” as “grading and planting of non-golf areas and park trails;” parking lot and road design; sewer, water, electric and civil engineering; the renovation of historic architecture, coordination with the Chicago Department of Transportation and roadway reconfigurations in Jackson Park; budgetary analysis and contracting; and construction administration and observation services.

SmithGroup is set to coordinate with Woods’ TGR Design firm, which “will develop the horizontal layout, grading and planting of the course.”

The contract modification comes while legal barriers remain to the construction of the Obama Presidential Center — the resolution of Protect Our Parks v. Chicago Park District lawsuit and federal environmental and historical reviews of the planned OPC project.

Jackson Park Watch has asked the park District to postpone action on the proposed modification until the lawsuit and reviews are complete.

The Herald has sought comment from the Park District as to why the increase with funds was necessary and from what source the funds will be drawn.

The Park District said it requested the Board’s permission to extend the existing design contract to address projects outlined in the 2019 South Lakefront Framework Plan. The increase in the contract amount will enable the District to move forward with designing a broader scope of projects than the previous contract allowed. The contract will be paid from park capital funds.

hpherald@hpherald.com