A’ROR’N Days guests invited to look around at changing town

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Former Huskies, friends and family members returning to Aurora for the annual A’ROR’N Days celebration may notice a lot of changes in the old hometown.
To Husky graduates back for their reunion and other guests visiting Aurora this week, we invite you to take some time and look around. There is an awful lot of visible progress in Aurora and Hamilton County, and in several cases you’ll see vacant lots that will look a lot different next time you come this way.
Here’s a quick recap and a good start for a weekend tour:
On the business front, it’s been a busier year of change. The Hamilton Manor is gone now, with an auction scheduled next week to determine what that prime piece of property might be used for, whether it be residential housing, commercial development or a combination of both. Across Highway 34 the Modern Motel is also gone, soon to be replaced with a new Heartland Bank facility.
Several changes have or are in the process of unfolding with local eateries. JoJo’s Gelato just announced plans to build a new restaurant on Highway 34, replacing a seasonal facility, and the former Chuck’s Drive-In is a month away from debuting 20 years later as Chuck’s 2.0. (Details on both of those stories are shared on this week’s business page)
A new bakery opened on the downtown square, and just a few blocks away construction is about to begin on an expansion project that will double the size of the Memorial Auxiliary Thrift Shop.
On Highway 14, the Dollar General sign is all that remains after a February fire gutted that facility. Plans are being made to build a new, bigger DG store on that same site later this summer. Just north of town on Highway 14 a new runway will be christened this week at the Aurora Airport.
The housing front has also seen significant change in the last year. New homes have gone up in Northridge, Streeter 1st and Poco Creek subdivisions and two new projects were approved just this week for Streeter 3rd and Poco Creek 3rd subdivisions. Only one of 10 homes in the new Streeter 2nd Subdivision is still on the market just a year after that innovative project was unveiled. The housing market continues to be hot here.
And finally, Streeter Park continues to evolve as a gathering place for all kinds of recreational fun. A new tennis/pickelball facility opened last year and this spring soccer was added to the mix, with a large area designated as both home to the Aurora soccer teams and as a space for public recreational use. It’s hard to imagine now how different Streeter Park looked just a few years back without the new aquatic center, four-field baseball/softball complex, tennis and soccer facilities.
The A’ROR’N Days agenda is chock full of activities, as always, and our community looks forward to rolling out the red carpet and having a good time. It’s worth your time at some point, however, to take a drive around town and notice all the positive changes.
There is a lot happening on the local front, and not just during A’ROR’N Days. Our community welcomes you!
Kurt Johnson

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