Rosa Parks Circle Downtown Grand Rapids FINALLY Has Reopening Date
For nearly a year, Rosa Parks Circle has been closed while undergoing more than $2 million in renovations. After several delays and setbacks we now know when Rosa Parks Circle will reopen!
The original plan was to reopen Rosa Parks Circle in September 2021 in time for ArtPrize... and well, ArtPrize came and went. And then, the goal was to open in time for the winter ice skating season... and that didn't happen either.
What was the hold up? Well, as we told you back in August, a piece of granite for the seating at Rosa Parks Circle was, in part, to blame. Manufacturing and supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic was keeping the slab of granite from getting to GR. Ice skating instead was moved to Van Andel Arena for the season.
If you're wondering why they didn't just use a different material for the seating, Rosa Parks Circle is actually part of an art installation called Ecliptic; those participating in the restoration say they are committed to artist Maya Lin's original vision for the space.
Rosa Parks Circle Conservancy chair Tripp Frey said,
The granite seating rings will be more durable and require less maintenance than the concrete previously used. Ecliptic has seen more visitors than ever imagined when it was first dedicated 20 years ago, and these improvements will ensure it can be enjoyed for many years to come.
Well, it sounds like that granite is finally making its way to GR!
City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt tells Fox 17,
The granite is coming out of a quarry in California. They had shutdowns with COVID impacts. The virus spread within their own facilities. They had a shortage of workers like we’ve been experiencing here in Grand Rapids. All of those things combined really push this timeline out further than what we would’ve initially anticipated...We are in the final stages, yes the final stages of construction, the reconstruction of Rosa Parks Circle, this is a very exciting project. It’s been years in planning, really to think about how we restore this really significant and important space in Grand Rapids. We’re at the culmination of all that right now. Final pieces of hand-selected granite are coming from California.”
The City of Grand Rapids is planning special celebrations for the grand reopening of Rosa Parks Circle June 1.
As far as the upgrades Rosa Parks Circle has received. Marquardt says,
We restored the restroom facilities. So, we’ve got new facades in there. New fixtures inside the restrooms. New tile on the floors. So, the whole experience going into those facilities will really be fresh, brand new.
Rosa Parks Circle will also have new water fountains, garbage bins, benches, pathways, lighting, a bus shelter, and a re-designed bandshell.