By Breegan Petruska
Twenty years after its opening, Rosa Parks Circle, the popular gathering place in downtown Grand Rapids, has closed for renovations, with plans of reopening in the fall.
The $2 million project is being led by the Ecliptic at Rosa Parks Circle Conservatory, the Downtown Development Authority and the City of Grand Rapids. The funding has been privately raised and contributes to over half of the total cost.
The major renovations include restoring the stage area and concrete seating rings with granite. Other improvements include recladding of the restrooms, upgraded mechanical equipment and new lighting.
David Marquardt, the director of the City of Grand Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation shared details of the project.
“The renovations will benefit the public through the longevity of the materials selected for this important project,” Marquardt stated in an email to The Collegiate. “Durability and beauty were important to ensuring the space was restored to the original vision of the artist Maya Lin.”
Rosa Parks Circle attracts thousands of visitors each year, so these improvements were important to upkeep this beloved space. Although the teams collaborating on this project have seen delays in shipping and increased material costs, Marquardt said they are excited to welcome visitors back to the heart of downtown.