GRAYSLAKE, Ill. (AP) — Work has started in Grayslake to turn a former factory that's been the center of the northern Chicago suburb into a park.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that the project gets underway 36 years after the smokestack at Grayslake Gelatin Co. stopped operating. It's tentatively named Gelatin Factory Park and village officials hope it will be ready for the public in time for an August balloon festival.

Plans call for the smokestack to be preserved and maintained. It was the only salvageable structure on the site.

Mayor Rhett Taylor says village officials anticipate the project will cost about $2.5 million. The factory closed in 1982 and the village bought the 10-acre site in 2015 for $30,000. It paid nearly $550,000 in 2016 to remove everything from the site except the smokestack.

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Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com