The first element to the new arts district proposed by John and Jayne Simmons has been put into motion. A Monday midday groundbreaking ceremony on the parking lot next to the Jacoby Arts Center on Broadway will be followed with construction on a park on that piece of property that will, in about a year if all goes according to plan, be a new green space in one of the first areas visitors see when they enter the city from the Clark Bridge.

Alton Mayor Brant Walker tells The Big Z the plan is to start work on the project soon.

Click here for Walker's comments

Among the guests at the groundbreaking were Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, whom Walker said spent a lot of time listening to stories about the city's business community.

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