PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) –State Rep. and Speaker Pro Tempore Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) and officials with the Peoria Park District announced the development of a “state-of-the-art” skating loop at Peoria’s Lakeview Park.
In a conference at Lakeview Recreation Center Wednesday, Gordon-Booth and Peoria Park District officials shared more in-depth details about the grant funding that will go toward the skate loop project. Gordon-Booth was able to secure $4 million in state funds for the project.
Accessible pathways are also coming to Donovan Park as part of the project.
Peoria Park District Executive Director Emily Cahill said the additions will be a benefit to the community.
“Placing a loop here rather than putting a large rectangle of concrete means that our skating loop can welcome skaters, it can serve as a backdrop for public art, and it can host gatherings of people for a concert or other social gathering,” she said.
Rep. Gordon-Booth said she truly believes in the future of Peoria, and this is part of that future.
“I love dreaming about Peoria, I love dreaming of the things we have that we can make greater, but also the things we don’t have that would be a great fit for families in this community,” Rep. Gordon-Booth said.
The potential of violence at the park was also mentioned. Cahill said that if anyone wants to cause trouble, the situation will be dealt with.
“The actions of a few should not limit the experiences of the many, and we feel very strongly that having a wide variety of activities across our different park locations throughout the community is essential to positive activity,” she said.
Local skating groups have been asking for a new rink for roller skating. Dawn Gilbert, a member of P-town Rollerz and other central Illinois roller skating groups, is happy to finally have her hopes realized.
“I have personally emailed, messaged, written actual letters to the Peoria Park District, to the Riverfront community, to anybody who will listen to me, so it’s just really nice to feel like we’re finally getting heard,” Gilbert said.
While no official timetable has been set for the loop to be built, Cahill said sometime next year is a rough estimate.