RAVE Earns $4 Million Grant from State

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's no secret that downtown Rockford could use its own burst of energy and Davis Park is one of the three downtown locations the city plans to upgrade, with a new $4 million grant it received today from the state.

Rockford area venue and entertainment will use the funding to renovate the BMO Harris Bank Center, Davis Park, and the Coronado Theatre. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the $4 million grant earlier today, and Rockford officials are already planning what they want fixed.

"There's just a lot of needed repairs that are going to take place. A lot of things that are going to be done now. A great example is that we're hoping to move into a direction of making staging and lighting and sound systems more permanent at Davis Park,” said RAVE Board Chairman, Mike Dunn.
Dunn wouldn't really elaborate on what other types of upgrades are being considered. However, he wants renovations to begin as soon as possible. He's not sure at this time how many construction jobs it will create.
The grant funding is a part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion dollar Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced today the awarding of a $4 million grant to Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment (RAVE) for capital improvements at its entertainment venues. The funding will support a variety of renovation projects at the BMO Harris Bank Center, Davis Memorial Festival Park and the Coronado Performing Arts Center.

“By investing in projects that put people to work while broadening our culture through the arts, we can make our state an even better place to live and work,” Governor Quinn said. “I am committed to helping communities strengthen their economies by supporting projects that create jobs and encourage growth.”
RAVE Board Chairman Mike Dunn said the planned renovations will provide Rockford residents with a more enjoyable entertainment experience by attracting more high-profile acts to the venues.

“Governor Quinn continues to demonstrate time and time again that he is a friend to Rockford,” Dunn said. “The Governor clearly understands that these entertainment venues play a crucial role in economic development. This is a huge win for our downtown and the redevelopment efforts for downtown as well as our entire community.”

The grant funding is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, which is expected create more than 439,000 construction jobs over six years. The program is improving the state’s fresh water supplies, advancing high-speed rail, improving parks and libraries, repairing roads, building bridges and renovating hospitals and schools.

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