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City Dedicates New Commons, Plaza

On Thursday afternoon, the city of Springfield held a dedication ceremony for the Commons at Jordan Valley and the Sister Cities Plaza. KSMU’s Justin Lux has this report.

[Stand-up]Right now, I’m standing at the site of the new Springfield Commons at Jordan Valley… that’s at the northwest corner of National and Trafficway in central Springfield. It may not look like much now with just dirt and stainless steel poles, but the city says it will eventually serve as a gateway into the Jordan Valley Park and will also celebrate the city’s relationship with several different cultures.

“Well the purpose of today’s dedication is really to celebrate the opening of this new public space, to make people aware that it is available for them to come and to use and to see the Sister Cities Plaza that really is one of the first physical manifestations of our longtime relationships with Tlaquepaque, Mexico and Isesaki, Japan,” Brother says.

Mike Brothers is a spokesperson for the City of Springfield, and met me at the site. He says to celebrate the city’s relationship with Tlaquepaque and Isesaki, Springfield arranged performances by musician Paco Padilla and a local Japanese dance group.

Going forward, Brothers explains that there are still a few more touches that need to take place.

“If you look at it now, obviously it’s brown. The grass is just starting to grow, that will come with time. Later this month the Public Works Department will be planting trees, there will be a lot of cherry trees planted around the plaza and some other fairly modest landscaping around the area that will grow in over time,”

After that’s completed the city expects the development to be a waiting game. The land was formerly a quarry, meaning the fill must settle before any construction can continue. Brothers said that could take several years.

The design and construction are being funded by a federal grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city originally paid for the land, and the Environmental Protection Agency funded the cleanup of the property.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.