Naperville News Digest: Open house being held for proposed Nike Sports Complex improvements; next phase of downtown Washington Street bridge work to start Tuesday; local teams to participate in national American Rocketry Challenge finals

Naperville News Digest: Open house being held for proposed Nike Sports Complex improvements; next phase of downtown Washington Street bridge work to start Tuesday; local teams to participate in national American Rocketry Challenge finals

Open house being held for proposed Nike Sports Complex improvements

The Naperville Park District will hold an open house to discuss proposed improvements to the Nike Sports Complex from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the Book Family Pavilion, 1520 N. Mill St.

Obtaining resident feedback is the first step in developing a site master plan, which will be used to help the park district apply for grants later this summer or fall, officials said in a news release.

The next meeting on the park’s future plans is tentatively set for June 18.

Nike Sports Complex last underwent significant renovations in 2011, officials said. The district has identified areas of improvement and opportunities to add and update its amenities.

Some possible amenities include an expanded asphalt loop trail, a shade pavilion overlooking a cricket area and the addition of a challenge course similar to the one at Wolf’s Crossing Community Park.

Next phase of downtown Washington Street bridge work to start Tuesday

The second phase in work to replace the downtown Washington Street bridge is to begin Tuesday, May 21.

As part of the project, all traffic will shift to the east side of the bridge while the west side is removed and replaced, city officials said in a news release.

Washington Street between Aurora and Chicago avenues will be closed to all traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to prepare for the traffic pattern change. After the shift is complete, the east side of the bridge will reopen to one lane of traffic in each direction, officials said.

The sidewalk on the bridge will be closed, and pedestrians will be detoured to the Main Street bridge.

Construction completion is tentatively expected in late 2024 or early 2025.

On-street parking on Washington Street between Chicago and Benton avenues will be restricted through at least October. Businesses will be open and accessible throughout construction.

For more information, go to www.naperville.il.us/dtwashingtonbridge.

Local teams to participate in national American Rocketry Challenge finals

Five of the six Illinois teams that have qualified to participate in the national finals of the American Rocketry Challenge hail from the Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield area, beating out 822 teams from 45 states.

The top 100 qualifying teams will compete Saturday, May 18, in The Plains, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. They are vying for the national championship title as well as an all-expense paid trip to the International Rocketry Challenge to take place in July in England.

Teams also will be competing for $100,000 in cash prizes, and the top 25 will be invited to participate in NASA’s Student Launch workshop.

The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest.

Of the six teams from Illinois to make it to the national finals, two are from Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville and a third from Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora.

The two other area teams are both advised by Ajay Anne and affiliated with Girl Scouts. The Phoenix Rockets AIAA Plainfield-Naperville section includes middle and high school students from Plainfield and Naperville who are interested in aeronautics and astronautics, science and engineering. Another of the finalists, also advised by Anne, is the Phoenix Rockets Middle School Girl Scouts Troop 76141 of Plainfield, a middle school Girl Scout team.

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