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‘This is such a special place:’ Rosa Parks Circle set to reopen June 1

Posted at 7:06 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 19:18:35-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Rosa Parks Circle has been under construction since the spring of last year, surrounded by a fence with banners on it showing what it’ll look like once it’s finished.

Come June 1st, people will be able to see for themselves the finished product.

“We are in the final stages, yes the final stages of construction, the reconstruction of Rosa Parks Circle,” said David Marquardt with the city. “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 coming from California.”

Marquardt, who is the city’s director of parks and recreation, said the project is over $2,000,000 and will include a lot of new features.

“We restored the restroom facilities. So, we’ve got new facades in there. New fixtures inside the restrooms. New tile on the floors,” Marquardt said during an interview with Fox 17 on Monday afternoon. “So, the whole experience going into those facilities will really be fresh, brand new.”

He added that Rosa Parks Circle will also have new water fountains, waste bins, benches, pathways, and lighting. The city wanted to re-open it earlier but COVID halted those plans.

“I mentioned 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,” he said. “All of those things combined really push this timeline out further than what we would’ve initially anticipated.”

Marquardt said once the granite comes in, it’ll be installed as the new pathways. And, after a little landscaping, they’ll be ready to re-open.

The city is planning celebrations for the June 1st re-opening, he said.

“This is such a special place,” Marquardt said. “People identify with it and therefore very few tax dollars went into this restoration. It’s a lot of private funding."