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Town Council Candidate Looks Forward To Future Normal Redevelopment

Ryan Denham
Buildings at 104 and 108 E. Beaufort St. in Uptown Normal will be demolished to make way for the Trail East development.

One Normal Town Council candidate said he is looking forward to future development projects in Normal, including an updated library.

Normal Town Council candidate Dave Shields
Credit Dave Shields for Normal Town Council
Normal Town Council candidate Dave Shields.

Dave Shields is one of eight candidates seeking three at-large seats on the Normal Town Council. He said he wants to see some kind of library renovation or expansion.

“Uptown 2.0 is also exciting, but it’s not going to happen for a little while. And we know that Bloomington is also looking at expanding or relocating its library,” he said. “I know that some folks have floated the idea of a joint library. On paper that makes sense.”

Shields said he would like to see the library located in Normal, as part of a centerpiece for the town’s redevelopment.

He recommends the library boards of Bloomington and Normal meet to come up with possible joint redevelopment plans.

In regards to other Uptown redevelopment projects including the Trail East project, Shields said it’s important to note the difference between “historic” and “old.”

Shields said in his first interaction with the Town Council, he was trying to save an old bridge near his home. In compromise, he said the town incorporated some of the bridge’s historic features in the new development.

“I think that the developers can follow that lead and find components of the existing buildings to, if not save and incorporate, somehow echo and replicate in the new design,” he said.

Public concern for the Trail East project has centered around the demolition of two older Uptown buildings and a popular mural.

Shields said Uptown development will bring in additional employees, which he said is always a benefit. He also points to the possibility for more residential units.

Other candidates running for Town Council in the April 2 election are incumbents Kathleen Lorenz and R.C. McBride, plus newcomers Stan Nord, Karyn Smith, Pat Turner, Alex Campbell, and Joel Studebaker.

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