RiverEdge Park has been in the works in Aurora since 2006, when a team of residents, city staff members and consultants began developing the Seize the Future Master Plan. Here is a look at developments in park construction over the years.
2006: Seize the Future, a master plan for downtown Aurora, is completed with 10-year and long-term visions including plans for a facility then referred to as "Riverview Park."
September 2007: The RiverEdge Park Master Plan is released, spelling out a vision for five distinct areas — a redeveloped Wilder Park on the west bank of the Fox River, a pedestrian bridge and Blues Island restoration, a children's play area and garden market, the Music Garden opening June 14 and a wetland environmental center. The cost to create the plan: $438,000.
2007: The city begins land acquisition for the park along Broadway Avenue north of Spring Street, spending a total of $1.1 million between 2007 and 2010.
2008: Power line burial and utility relocation begin, costing $1.5 million between 2008 and 2011.
2008: The city begins design and engineering work on the Music Garden. These plans cost $1.7 million between 2008 and 2012.
May 2009: The Fox Valley Park District gives 4.33 acres toward a 10-acre Music Garden and commits to granting $3 million for the project.
October 2010: Gov. Pat Quinn announces an $8 million state grant for park construction.
March 2011: The city accepts the state grant, which comes with a deadline specifying Music Garden construction must be complete by Feb. 23, 2013.
March 2011: The Dunham Fund announces it will grant $2 million toward park construction. Grants now total $15 million, including $2 million from the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.
May 2011: The city council hires R.C. Wegman Construction Company of Aurora as construction manager, agreeing to pay the company 9.85 percent of Music Garden construction costs.
July 2011: A groundbreaking is held at the park site, 360 N. Broadway Ave., and construction begins.
2011: Environmental cleanup begins, finishing in 2012 and costing $245,200.
August 2012: The city enters an 18-month contract with the Aurora Civic Center Authority for park management and event programming.
October 5, 2012: Music Garden construction reaches substantial completion, more than four months before the deadline specified by the state grant. Construction cost: $13.2 million.
March 2013: Two Brother's Roundhouse is chosen as the Music Garden's primary food vendor for its first season.
April 15, 2013: RiverEdge Park's concert schedule is announced. Buddy Guy, Peter Frampton, Randy Travis and others will play at the new venue during its first season. Programming so far has cost $178,980.
June 7, 2013: Mayor Tom Weisner holds a ribbon-cutting at the park.
June 14, 2013: RiverEdge Park's Music Garden hosts its grand opening with the first day of the Blues on the Fox festival.
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