PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Community residents will have the month of May to weigh in on the three finalists for a BUILD Peoria grant, the organization announced Monday.

After receiving dozens of ideas for the 2023-2024 community project, board members narrowed the list down to three finalists: 

The Christian Center Dugout Upgrade

  • More than 2,300 area children ages 5 to 18 will enjoy Youth Athletics at The Christian Center this year, not to mention the countless adults throughout the community who have been impacted by their programming. Services at The Christian Center are offered regardless of ability to pay. The Christian Center’s baseball fields have seen continual use for many years and are showing advanced wear and tear. The replacement of four dugouts on two fields will help provide a place to foster sportsmanship and build unity among teams. 

Crittenton Centers Community Walking Trail

  • Crittenton Centers has been protecting and nurturing families since 1892. The organization promotes child and family wellness, which includes eating well, being active, supporting mental health needs, and building healthy parent child relationships. We would like to revitalize our public walking trail by building learning, exercise, and activity stations along the train to engage everyone in healthy activities. Due to the limited amount of green space in downtown Peoria, the walking trail will provide another opportunity for community members to support their physical health and well-being in a natural environment.

Peoria Zoo Outdoor Classroom

  • A first-class zoo is more than just an experience; it’s an opportunity to affect our own communities through education and recreation, and to affect our world through preservation and diversification. An outdoor classroom could be used for education through home schooling, zoo camps, and field trips; group events like parties and retreats, and your family. The project will include the addition of outdoor furniture, colorful sun shades, and a sound system.

During May, anyone in the community is welcome to vote one time for the project of their choice on the BUILD Peoria website. The winning project will be announced in early June. 

Past BUILD Peoria community projects include the Duryea Dog Park, a Peoria Police Department Resident Officer House, CityLink bus stop shelters, Donovan Park Sculpture Garden, and POTENT Gratitude Park.

Additionally, BUILD Peoria will be hosting a fundraiser at Olympia Sports Bar & Grill on Saturday, May 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. A portion of sales and all cash tips will go toward the winning project. Additionally, people will have the opportunity to contribute cash donations in exchange for additional votes.