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Take a peek inside Aurora Town Square as it nears completion

The largest capital project in Aurora's history is expected to be complete by the end of July, with a grand opening celebration in September

After years of planning and millions of dollars spent, Aurora Town Square is nearing completion.

Work on the new community hub, first proposed back in 2017, is set to be completed by the end of July, with a grand opening celebration set for Sept. 20.

The $53-million project includes an addition of a performing arts theatre, climate-controlled museum archives, dance studio, multi-purpose studios, a cafe, as well as a large outdoor square and major renovations to the Church Street School building, which was the home of the temporarily displaced Aurora Cultural Centre and museum and archives. 

An indoor footbridge that overlooks the square will connect the cultural centre to the Aurora Public Library.

The project, the town's largest capital project to date, is an important part of the downtown revitalization work, according to Phil Rose, cultural services manager for the Town of Aurora. 

The project sees the meeting of old and new, with original aspects of the 1885 Church Street schoolhouse intermingling with the modern performance centre, which includes an intimate 250-seat theatre that has seating that retracts with a push of a button and a flat stage.

“We want (the space) to be as functional as possible,” said Rose during a tour of the project in the works with AuroraToday, with the design allowing for banquets and conferences when the seats are retracted. 

There are a number of bookings already for the space, including the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame 2024 induction ceremony in November. 

Marquee Theatrical Productions was also recently confirmed as the town’s resident theatre group.

The early interest shows the need in the community, said Rose. 

“It’s meant to do everything from a classical music concert, to a Ted Talk, to a film screening to a rock concert from an acoustic perspective.”

The Sept. 20 opening kicks off a 24-day celebration, to mark the opening of the space.

“People drive by, they see the project’s really taking shape and they’re interested in what we’re going to do, I think we’re starting to see that anticipation,” said Samantha Mahoney, Town of Aurora marketing and communications specialist.

— With files from Debora Kelly