Have you heard about Build the Block? You may have seen the commercials on TV or seen signs around town telling you to vote yes. But what does all this mean?
Build the Block is a campaign to develop seven empty acres downtown off Main Street into the Peoria Riverfront Museum. When you first hear about it, it doesn’t seem as if this benefits students much, but whether or not this $136 million museum is built will greatly affect Bradley students.
It goes without saying that building the Block would make downtown more attractive. The Block between Main, Water, Liberty, and Washington Streets is just a giant hole in the ground.
It might just be me, but I would much rather see the gorgeous museum park that will be on the Block as I eat dinner at Old Chicago.
And as a resident adviser, I often hear people complain that there’s nothing to do in Peoria. The Peoria Riverfront Museum will offer things to do both during the day and at night.
The museum will house traveling Smithsonian exhibits, a museum all about Peoria history, a state-of-the-art planetarium and an IMAX theatre that will show both educational movies during the day and big blockbusters such as “Harry Potter” or “The Dark Knight.”
The Block will also be home to the Caterpillar Experience, a museum detailing the innovation and impact of CAT globally. And the museum will offer better education to both Bradley students and the 39,000 area school children that will visit every year.
Besides this, the Block will offer many job and internship opportunities to Bradley students.
The museum will offer numerous new internships in the fields of education, development, public relations and collections. The Caterpillar Experience will likely offer internships as well, and having built a $40 million museum, Caterpillar will continue to be tied to Peoria.
So, Build the Block sounds like a good idea, right? But what can you do? On April 7, there is a general election in Peoria.
There is only one referendum on the ballot, for Build the Block, which seeks to raise Peoria County sales tax one-quarter of 1 percent (which only amounts to 25 cents for every $100 you spend, and there will be no increase on groceries, drugs or things such as cars).
If you are registered to vote in Peoria, please vote on April 7th , and please vote yes on this public facilities referendum! Building the Block will make Peoria better for Bradley students!
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