With Groundbreaking Event, Construction of Blackhawk Park Begins

Construction of the much-anticipated Blackhawk Park began Tuesday with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the historic site on Aurora’s near west side.

More than 40 local officials and residents gathered with Fox Valley Park District staff and commissioners, Mayor Richard Irvin and representatives from R.C. Wegman Construction.

Located alongside Galena Boulevard between Blackhawk and View streets, the 2.8-acre site is where the original West Aurora High School stood since 1905. After the building was torn down in 2015, the City of Aurora deeded the land over to the Park District late last year in a land conveyance agreement.

“It’s a privilege to develop the next community park for Aurora,” said Fox Valley Park District Executive Director Jim Pilmer. “Parks stabilize neighborhoods and create economic development.”

The park’s highlight design feature will be a centralized, circular “great lawn” area that encourages unstructured play. The northeast section of the park will feature innovative playground equipment, splash pad and a unique shelter reminiscent of the old West Aurora High School that occupied the site for over a century.

An interpretive plaza will offer educational opportunities and environmental awareness, marked by a flagpole at the entrance – the same flagpole location as it was for the high school. The plan also provides an area for public art displays.

“This is a big deal; whenever we take a blighted property and turn it into a beautiful open space, it’s a great benefit to all citizens of Aurora,” said Mayor Irvin. “I look forward to its completion and the positive effect it will have on the city of Aurora.”

Completion is targeted for late September 2017.

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