Elgin News Digest: New playground, other changes planned for Elgin’s Millennium Park; Elgin Community College celebrates Arts Center renovation completion; federal funding to pay for fire truck, forensic science center

New playground, other changes planned for Elgin’s Millennium Park

New paths, gardens, outdoor exercise equipment, a half-basketball court and playground equipment are being added to Millennium Park at 725 Red Barn Lane on Elgin’s southwest side.

Work is expected to begin soon on the improvements, which should be complete by early summer, according to a city news release.

Millennium Park, which serves the Woodbridge North and Columbine subdivisions west of Randall Road, opened in 2000. Partial funding for the planned work is provided by a $338,000 Illinois Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant.

Elgin Community College celebrates Arts Center renovation completion

Improvements made to Elgin Community College’s Arts Center are now complete, officials said.

The $14 million in renovations include two new maker spaces, a podcast recording studio, an expansion of the music recording area, new rehearsal space for the school’s in-residence ensembles, an expanded scene shop, Blizzard Theatre audio improvements, a four-by-four CNC Router, 3D printer, enhanced lighting and upgraded technological infrastructure.

The Arts Center is part of Building H. It was constructed in the 1990s, and no significant updates have made in 25 years, officials said.

For more information on the Arts Center, go to eccartscenter.org.

U-46 Blue Stars teams do well at Special Olympics Illinois

School District U-46 Blue Stars teams performed well at the Special Olympics Illinois state basketball tournament, which was held March 8-10 at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington-Normal.

The U-46 Blue Stars Juniors placed second and received silver medals, according to the U-46 Facebook page. The U-46 Blue Stars Team Blue and Team White both earned fourth place in their respective divisions.

For more information about the tournament, go to www.soill.org/blog/events/state-basketball-tournament-980-984.

Federal funding to pay for fire truck, forensic science center

A tower ladder truck for the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District and a forensic science center for the Kane County Coroner’s Office are among 12 community project funding requests made by U.S. Rep. Bill Foster that have been approved by President Joe Biden.

The fire district will receive $1 million for the tower ladder truck so district firefighters no longer have to wait for outside departments to supply an aerial device when responding to emergencies, a news release from Foster’s office said.

The Kane County Coroner’s office will use $963,000 in funding to establish the forensic science center in conjunction with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

For more information about the funding, go to appropriations.house.gov/sites/democrats.appropriations.house.gov/files/documents/Community%20Project%20Funding%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20on%20Reforms_0.pdf.