Members of the newly-appointed ad hoc committee to study resident Ralph DiFebo’s proposal to create a mini-Ravinia on village-owned property are expected to roll up their sleeves and get to work soon.

Following creation of the committee and appointment of its seven members by the village council Monday, DiFebo and Commissioner Rachell Entler, liaison to the village council, said they are hoping to meet with each other to schedule a meeting of the entire group within the next month.

Residents Kathleen Garness, Patricia Marino, Ryan Nero, Todd Peterson, Kimberlee Rostello and David Show were appointed to the committee that will study DiFebo’s plan for the year-round use by all ages of vacant village-owned property near the Altenheim Retirement Home. They join DiFebo, who accepted Mayor Anthony Calderone’s invitation at the Dec. 19 village council meeting when Calderone asked commissioners to each recommend at least one resident to serve on the committee. 

Commissioners suggested seven names at the Jan. 9 meeting but one resident withdrew her name from consideration.

“We’ll be looking for a date that works for everybody,” Entler said after Monday’s meeting. “We need to get everybody up to speed.”

When he made a presentation to the village council in August, DiFebo said the centerpiece of the concept is a band shell and great lawn for concerts with seating for up to 7,200 on the lawn and on a terraced berm that also would contain sound. A building containing restrooms and concessions, plus rooftop seating, would be constructed near the band shell and another building across the lawn would serve as a pavilion. The property would be primarily open space although a skating rink, walking trails and a home for the farmers market are options. A limited access roadway would connect the south and west sides and opportunities for art, including sculptures, would be scattered around the property.

The village purchased the property for $3.6 million in 2001, averting a sale to a private developer whose plans were to build townhomes. The property consists of 11 acres north and south of Altenheim and includes a chapel and other outbuildings, all of which are empty.