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Peoria Park District taking new approach for community pavilion

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PEORIA (WEEK) — Donovan Park in Peoria could become the next big hub for community events. To make it happen, the park district is taking a different approach.

The park district's board of trustees unanimously approved the initial proposal for a brand-new amphitheater and performing arts center on October 14. That includes a pavilion that can seat between 1,500 and 2,000 people, set to take up to 18 acres of space on the property's southeast corner. According to the plan, it will all get built with minimal environmental impact.

To take it on, the Park District is working with a private group to help make the proposal a reality.

Non-profit 'Pavilion Arts Centre LTD' - made up of local leaders active in the community - is assisting in the design and negotiation process.

When designing the pavilion, the group will focus on making it not only as environmentally friendly as possible, but also leaving little impact on the neighboring community.

Peoria Parks and Recreation director Emily Cahill sees it as a chance to take on unique demands in a different way.

"We know as a public body we do not have the resources to grant everybody's wishes. We're not the fairy godmother," she says.

"By working together with private entities who have resources and willingness, we're able to expand the offerings that our community can enjoy."

The next steps include negotiations for a lease and use agreement, along with additional fundraising efforts.

Cahill says they aim to complete the project by 2023 or 2024.

The District wants to make the project a collaborative effort with the community, as well. You can fill out the official feedback form by clicking on the link here. You can also call the district at (309) 682-1200.

Jon Schoenheider

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