Archive for June, 2017

Aurora Chamber Member Events, News

Monday, June 19th, 2017
June 19, 2017
In This Issue


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95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company

Welcome New Members

Xplore Tumbling and Gymnastics
Michelle Masciola
223 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
(630) 229-6115


Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189



Register Today for July Golf Classic
Golf Sponsors
Jump Start Your Member Profile
Join us Tuesday, June 27, at 3:00 p.m. to see and hear about all of the benefits of your membership profile on Increase your visibility. Gain more referrals. Motivate your target audience.

This hands-on workshop will guide you through:

• Setting up your login with user name and password;
• Posting jobs to increase the candidate pool;
• Submitting events to increase traffic and sales;
• Offering hot deals to members and the community;
• Sending communications to others within the database;
• Making changes to your representatives and contact listings; and
• Tracking your ROI by reviewing available metrics.

We encourage you to bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to update your listing while at the workshop. We will answer questions and help trouble-shoot any difficulties you may encounter. This program is for new members as well as those who may want a refresher on using

For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Golfer registration remains open for the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors. Registration for members is $175 through June 30. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182.

In addition to several meetings with Chamber members as well as prospective members, the team supported Sky Zone’s ribbon cutting. There was a great turnout for the Trade Forum at Waubonsee Community College’s downtown Aurora campus where we shared what is necessary for our local exporters to obtain a certificate of origin.

We were happy to support a number of our members in the several processes and meetings with various local government organizations. There is a great deal of development occurring in our region and we’re looking forward to announcing some job creating projects in the near future.

Workforce and education were a major theme of the week as we participated in a Mayor’s Transition Team meeting on Education and Workforce Development, attended the national association’s annual meeting on education attainment, and continued organizing a resource fair for parents and students with disabilities (including services, opportunities, and career support).

This week we are looking forward to meeting with members and employers and preparing for next week’s programs, including a ribbon cutting for AAA on Monday and Fox Valley Networking Professionals on Thursday, June 29.

Don’t forget: “Jump Start Your Member Profile” workshop is scheduled for June 27 at 3:00 p.m. Members – whether new to the Chamber or wanting a refresher – will learn how to maximize their directory listing and the additional benefits available online.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

Did You Know?
As a member of the Aurora Chamber, we are available to assist you in coordinating and working with our elected and municipal officials. For instance, we can help you plan, coordinate, and celebrate a ribbon cutting, grand opening, or groundbreaking. We can help coordinate meetings to discuss various public policy topics with our elected officials to explain the impact of these policies on growth, job creation, and expansion. Our goal is to help you succeed; give us a call or email if there is something we can do to help. For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184
Calendar of Events
Grand Opening: AAA
Monday, June 26, 3:30-6:00 p.m.
35 S. Route 59, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Jump Start Your Member Profile
Tuesday, June 27, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, June 29, 8-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Register Today: Chamber Golf Classic
Presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora


Premier Members
Premier Members
Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

May Unemployment Drops Slightly

Budget Threatens Lottery Games

Transportation: Construction Shutdown Looms

Higher Education, No Budget Impact

Gov. Calls for Special Session

Illinois Budget Update

Minimum Wage Increase a Bad Bet for Job Creators

Local Government: Ill. Township Consolidation

Ill. Budget: Debt Rating

Budget: Ill. General Assembly

Pre-K effort that advances ’21st Century skills’

End-of-Session Wrap Up in Springfield

Ill. Chamber Shares Springfield Update

Ill. House GOP on Budget

Springfield Update

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Mayor Recruits Execs to Lead City’s Innovation, Technology Efforts

Tee Times Available for Golf for Kids Outing at Orchard Valley on June 26

With Groundbreaking Event, Construction of Blackhawk Park Begins

VNA Health Care and Fox Valley Park District host “Summer HealthFest” on June 21

CMT Employee Anniversaries

Aurora Chamber Awarded Five-Star Accreditation by U.S. Chamber

Mayor’s Transition Team to Host Town Hall Meetings

Meyer Wealth Honors Two East High Grads with Scholarships

You’re Invited: Mayor Irvin to Make Special Announcement

Park District, City, Illinois DCFS Team Up to Promote Water Safety, Prevent Drowning

VNA Health Care Announces New Chief Financial Officer Don Klink

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 |
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Recruits Execs to Lead City’s Innovation, Technology Efforts

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Mayor Richard C. Irvin announced yesterday new initiatives in innovation and information technology for the City of Aurora.

Nearly 100 business, government, civic and education leaders from Aurora gathered for Irvin’s announcement at the Illinois Math and Science Academy’s IN2 Center for Innovation and Inquiry.
“Developing innovative ideas and policies for Aurora will require strong data analysis coupled with best practices and creative and strategic thinking,” said Irvin. “Successful innovation is greater than just technology alone. It requires the ability to generate ideas from across the board and the proven capacity to implement them.”
To lead Aurora’s new innovation initiatives, Irvin has recruited former DePaul University professor, Dr. Adrienne Merced-Holloway, to serve as the City’s first Chief Innovation Officer.
“After working with Dr. Holloway on a number of significant projects, I know she is clearly focused on strategic planning and effective results,” said Irvin. “As she works to enhance our strengths in Aurora through innovative ideas and practices, her expertise will be instrumental in connecting all facets of our community and driving innovation throughout the city.”
An accomplished professional with decades of experience in community development and higher education, Holloway was most recently an assistant professor at the DePaul University Graduate School of Public Service where she taught government, community development and research methods courses across 4 degree programs. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fordham University.
A small business owner and dedicated community volunteer, Holloway is the president of her own consulting firm and currently serves as Director of Mayor Irvin’s Transition Team, Vice-Chair of the Northern Lights Development Corporation and Board Member of the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. She also recently completed 2 terms as Chair for the Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board.
Holloway will be an addition to Irvin’s previously announced Mayor’s Office staff. Her team includes the Community Services Department led by Chief Community Services Officer Dan Barreiro; and the Information Technology Department, which is now under new leadership.
Recognizing the important role information technology will play in the City’s success, including efforts in innovation and economic development, Irvin  has also recruited the former Vice President of Information Technology of global financial services company, Morgan Stanley, to lead the City’s technology initiatives.
As Chief Information Officer, Michael R. Pegues, brings more than 20 years of experience in IT delivery and management across diverse sectors, including Financial Services, Technology/Telecommunications and Government.
“Our Technology Department is integral to the success of operations at City Hall and the economic growth of our business community,” said Irvin. “Michael has the global experience in technology and business that we need to advance. Not only is he a proven executive in the field, he is also a community advocate and veteran who is dedicated to service.”
Under the direction of the Chief Innovation Officer, Pegues will be responsible for the management, oversight and direction of the IT Department, including the Management Information Systems Division and the Police Technical Services Division, which is comprised of public safety and the 911 center. Former Chief Technology Officer, Ted Beck, will collaborate with Pegues as the City’s new Chief Information Security Officer focusing on cybersecurity and citywide IT projects.
A veteran of the United States Army, Pegues most recently served as Vice President of Enterprise Security Solutions at Morgan Stanley’s Chicago office and Vice President of Enterprise Infrastructure of the company’s office in Budapest, Hungary.  He left Morgan Stanley to join Irvin’s administration.
Pegues holds a Bachelor’s of Computer Science from DeVry University and an Executive MBA from Central European University. He is an alum of West Aurora High School.
“Howard Schultz of Starbucks said when you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible,” said Irvin. “I agree, and my goal is to build a team of professionals who are leaders in their respective fields and passionate about building Aurora together.  Both Adrienne and Michael have been and will continue to be great assets to Aurora.”


May Unemployment Drops Slightly

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced Thursday that the unemployment rate declined -0.1 percentage points to 4.6 percent in May and nonfarm payrolls increased by +2,400 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. April job growth was revised little to show a decrease of -7,300 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of -7,200 jobs.

May’s modest monthly payroll gain kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. Payroll growth has been sluggish thus far this year.

“Illinois remains -23,300 jobs short of reaching its prior peak employment reached in September 2000,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “If Illinois had grown at the National average over that time, the State would have an additional 650,000 jobs.”

“We hear from companies every week that are concerned by the current business climate in Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. “We need to implement common sense reforms that would lead to booming job growth and expansion of opportunities across our state.”

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.3 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for May 2017, which decreased to 4.3 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -1.3 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.9 percent. At 4.6 percent, the Illinois jobless rate stands at its lowest level since February 2007, after having decreased for four consecutive months and is down -1.1 percentage points since January 2017.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -2.9 percent from the prior month to 298,100, down -23.0 percent over the same month for the prior year. This brings the number of unemployed workers to its lowest level since December 2006. The labor force decreased -0.3 percent over-the-month and declined by -0.9 percent in May over the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

Budget Threatens Lottery Games

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Powerball, Mega Millions to drop Illinois due to state’s budget crisis. The popular Powerball lottery and Mega Millions games will drop Illinois at the end of June without a budget agreement, Illinois Lottery officials said Thursday.

Concern over the state’s fiscal condition prompted the Multi-State Lottery Association to drop Powerball in Illinois, according to internal Illinois Lottery communications obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mega Millions also plans to drop the state unless a budget agreement comes together, state officials confirmed. Without a budget in place, the state isn’t authorized to make payments to Mega Millions or the association.

Greg Smith, acting director of the Illinois Lottery, called the development “disappointing.”

“The Legislature’s inability to pass a budget has led to this development and will result in Illinois Lottery players being denied the opportunity to play these popular games,” Smith said. “This is why it’s so critical the General Assembly deliver a balanced budget to the governor’s desk that he can sign.”

The state reported $99.4 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales within the 2016 budget year. Lottery officials indicated that Illinois retains about 40 percent of that money for education funding.

Transportation: Construction Shutdown Looms

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

IDOT will shut down roadwork if no budget is passed by July 1. Roadwork projects across Illinois could be on the chopping block as the state’s historic budget impasse continues.

The Illinois Department of Transportation will shut down roadwork statewide if lawmakers don’t pass a budget by the end of the month, officials announced Wednesday.

“Due to the General Assembly’s refusal to pass a balanced budget, the Illinois Department of Transportation loses its ability to pay contractors starting July 1,” IDOT communications director Guy Tridgell said in an email.

“While we are hopeful the situation is resolved before then, the department is notifying contractors that all construction work is to shut down on June 30. Contractors will be advised to secure work zones to ensure their safety during any potential shutdown. As always, the safety of the traveling public will be the top priority as the department works through this process​,” Tridgell said.

Roadwork projects were put in jeopardy by the budget impasse last year as well, but a stopgap bill passed in the final hour secured roadwork funding.

Higher Education, No Budget Impact

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Moody’s downgrades seven Illinois public universities. Moody’s Investors Service announced sweeping credit downgrades for seven Illinois universities on June 9 over concerns about the state’s nearly two-year budget impasse. Five of those seven – Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Governors State University, Northeastern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University – now have junk credit ratings.

Moody’s downgrades come less than a month after S&P’s own mass downgrade of six universities in April.

Eastern Illinois University was the lowest rated university, downgraded from B2 to Caa2 with a negative outlook. That denotes speculative-grade credit quality. It is the lowest of the universities according to a separate Moody’s rating research document.

The University of Illinois’ new rating is A1 with a negative outlook. That’s down from Aa3 negative and still considered superior credit quality.

Gov. Calls for Special Session

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Governor Rauner Calls Lawmakers Back to Springfield to Pass Compromise Balanced Budget Plan. One day after House and Senate Republicans unveiled a compromise balanced budget plan to end the budget impasse, Governor Bruce Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session from Wednesday, June 21, through the June 30 fiscal year deadline.

“Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign,” Governor Rauner said in a video announcing special session. “It provides a true path to property tax reduction and it reforms the way our state operates to reduce wasteful spending. It will fund our schools and human services, while spurring economic growth and job creation. It is a true compromise – and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept.”

For two weeks, the majority in the General Assembly ignored repeated calls to return to Springfield since adjourning on May 31 without passing a full-year balanced budget. If no action is taken by the General Assembly to pass the compromise balanced budget plan by June 30th, the ramifications for our state will be devastating and long-lasting. In order to find a resolution, Governor Rauner issued 10 proclamations calling for special sessions every day starting Wednesday, June 21, at noon. The proclamations direct the General Assembly to consider legislation that will reach a balanced budget with changes to our broken system, including property tax relief, job creation, term limits and spending caps. Should the General Assembly enact the compromise balanced budget plan prior to June 30th, the Governor will cancel any remaining special session days.

“We have tough, urgent choices to make, and the legislature must be present to make them,” Governor Rauner said. “In the days ahead, let’s show the people of Illinois we have their best interests in mind, not our own. And together, we will move our state forward to a better and brighter future.”

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin applauded the Governor for calling the special session.

“With the fiscal year coming to a close and the House Democrats’ failure to produce a budget during session warrants the Governor’s action today. We can break this impasse if the House Democrats are willing to negotiate in good faith.”

Illinois Budget Update

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), Senate Republican Caucus Whip Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Deputy House Republican Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) and House Republican Conference Chairperson Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) today introduced a package of bills to end the budget impasse. The bills represent a compromise balanced budget and reforms that address the priorities of both parties, and urged the General Assembly to return to Springfield to vote on this proposal.

“Time is running out before the fiscal year ends, and we must act now! Where is the sense of urgency with Speaker Madigan to end this stalemate? Lawmakers should be in Springfield working around the clock until our job is finished. This comprehensive budget package with structural reforms that we are proposing today is the path forward to breaking the budget impasse,” said Durkin.

The comprehensive proposal includes a truly balanced budget, a four-year hard spending cap, lasting property tax relief, and changes to our regulatory system that will create jobs and grow the economy. The bills also include a $250 million increase for the new school funding formula, and fulfilling commitments to restore child care eligibility to 185% of the federal poverty level and a wage increase to Direct Support Professionals. It also includes term limits on legislative leaders and constitutional officers.

“These proposals continue the important work already done in the Senate, where we’d seen significant progress on these issues. I am confident there is still an opportunity for bipartisan compromise on a balanced budget, as well as the critical reforms that will bring a much-needed economic boost to our state,” said State Senator Karen McConnaughay. “We need to act expediently to get Illinois back on a path to fiscal stability and security.”

The summary of the bills are as follows:

Budget Bill: Comprehensive budget proposal that includes real spending cuts and a four-year spending cap, while providing funding to state agencies like the Department of Human Services to care for our state’s most vulnerable and the Department of Transportation to continue important infrastructure projects.

Property Tax Relief: Four-year freeze for all taxing districts, but would allow residents, through voter referendum, to lower or increase their taxes. Allows for an exemption on existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats.

Local Government Consolidation: Strengthens and improves the already passed SB 3, and will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation on units of local government.

Education Funding: Changes to the K-12 education funding formula that treats every district equitably that is consistent with the bipartisan framework of the Governor’s School Funding Commission. Funding for early childhood education, K-12 education, community colleges and universities.

Workers’ Comp: Uses previously negotiated language between Senate GOP and Senate Democrats, like changes to the medical fee schedule, but does not reduce benefits to workers or include a causation standard.

Pension Reform: Accepts SB 16, which has previously passed the Senate, including President Cullerton’s consideration model and the state’s pickup of Chicago Public School’s pension payments.

Term Limits: Constitutional amendment to impose 10-year term limits on legislative leaders in the General Assembly and eight-year limit on Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State)

“We all agree that we need to fix our broken school funding formula right now,” said State Senator Jason Barickman. “This legislation contains much of the priorities Democrats advanced in Senate Bill 1, provides meaningful help for Chicago, ensures that no districts lose money, and treats all of our schools fairly and equitably under the evidence based model.”

“Passing an unbalanced budget like the Senate Democrats did and the House Democrats choosing to not even take up a budget is beyond unacceptable and a complete failure from the majority party,” State Sen. Dale Righter said. “We must return to Springfield, put party differences aside, work together, and pass an actual budget that is not only balanced, but moves Illinois forward economically and fiscally. The fact we need 3/5 vote now to pass a budget is a good thing in that it forces Democrats to finally work with Republicans in complete good faith to pass a true and real balanced budget – one that is good for schools, social services, and taxpayers.”

“The comprehensive balanced budget we are offering today will provide care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Deputy Republican Leader Patti Bellock. “With last week’s court ruling on the $2 billion backlog of unpaid Medicaid bills, it is critically important we take immediate action to address this backlog. Our plan includes more than $4 billion in bonding to help pay off old bills. We must address this crisis now. The consequences of not taking action now would be devastating to human services.”

“Our plan will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation of units of local government,” State Rep. Tom Demmer said. “Our nearly 7,000 units of local government contribute to why Illinois residents pay some of the highest local government taxes in the nation, including the 2nd highest in property taxes. On pension reform, we accept Senate Bill 16, which has previously passed the Senate and includes President Cullerton’s consideration model. Pension reform and local government consolidation will save taxpayers billions of dollars.”

Tee Times Available for Golf for Kids Outing at Orchard Valley on June 26

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Morning and afternoon tee times are available for the 23rd annual Golf for Kids Benefit Outing to be held Monday, June 26, at Orchard Valley Golf Course.

Players may register individually or as a group, with the choice of team scramble or individual stroke play. The registration fee is $150 per player for morning golfers and $185 per player for the afternoon round.

Registration includes a tee gift (Under Armour Quarter-Zip Wind Shirt), green fees with cart for 18 holes, breakfast, lunch and dinner at Orchards Restaurant, along with door prizes and raffle prizes that include a full set of Callaway irons, Bears tickets, Cubs tickets and free rounds of golf at various local courses.

Morning play begins at 7:30 a.m. and afternoon play at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start for each.

Company sponsorship packages and promotional opportunities are available as well. This year’s title sponsor is The Dunham Fund and the presenting sponsor is Alarm Detection Systems.

The Golf for Kids Benefit Outing supports The Fox Valley Park Foundation, whose proceeds benefit local youth in the Fox Valley area to give all children the opportunities to experience enrichment programs, sports and camps regardless of financial standing.

Last year, more than $42,000 in recreation grants was awarded. Among the many youth program recipients were the Fox Valley Junior Golf Academy ($12,500), Healthy Minds / Healthy Bodies program for veterans ($7,000), Jesse “The Law” Torres Boxing Club ($5,000), Red Oak Outdoor Adventure Club ($5,000) and the Sports Saturday program ($5,000).

“Our mission is to impact the lives of young people in a positive way and promote social equity for residents throughout our communities,” said Jim Pilmer, Fox Valley Park Foundation Director. “Funding these programs gives our youth meaningful opportunities.”

Over the last two decades, the Fox Valley Park Foundation has raised over $550,000 to fund youth programs offered in over 50 local schools. More than 3,000 local youth have benefitted.

For more information on the Golf for Kids Benefit Golf Outing, visit  or call 630-966-4516.

With Groundbreaking Event, Construction of Blackhawk Park Begins

Friday, June 16th, 2017

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.