MASON CITY, Iowa - There have been many pieces of the River City Renaissance Project that have already been completed, are under construction right now, or will begin construction such as the multipurpose arena, the apartments and townhomes that will sit across Willow Creek from Southbridge Mall, and the new hotel and convention center in front of the former Younkers that's expected to break ground this summer.
Now, another piece of the project is getting closer to fruition.
Next Tuesday, city council will decide on the design of the indoor/outdoor Performing Arts Pavilion, which will be situated at the north entrance (Federal Plaza) of the mall. Not only will it provide a permanent, acoustic friendly space for the Mason City Municipal Band, but it will also include space for other peformances like Tuba Christmas, and storage for the band as well.
Russ Kramer is the director of the band, and also sits on the Pavilion Committee. He's happy to see a long-time dream become one step closer to reality.
"It's changed from where it was 21 years ago, but it's still the vision of finding that new place that the community can be proud of, not just for the municipal band, but for all the different things we want to host Downtown. Whether it's Band Festival, Friday Night Live, or just other people looking to do things Downtown."
Mason City Chamber of Commerce President Robin Anderson, who also sits on the Committee, says it's a perfect fit for the revitalization going on in Downtown.
"What we really like about this plan is it assists the repurpose of southbridge. This is one more way we can take that underutilized community asset and make it a part of the festivals and festivities going on downtown."
The project will be paid for by Iowa Reinvestment Act funding, private contributions, corporate contributions, and grant funding. A generous contribution from The Principal Foundation has secured naming rights for the pavilion.
Contract bidding is expected to open March 10th, with construction set to begin this spring.