Bo Diddley Prepares for A Facelift

Gainesville’s Bo Diddley Community Plaza is set to undergo a major renovation starting in March of next year. The project is expected to take about a year, and aims to fulfill several goals. The renovated plaza will be safer, more accessible, and more visible according to city officials. The new center will feature a green room for performers to get ready in, enhanced bicycle facilities, an improved layout, and a signature water wall. The water wall will be a focal point of the plaza, featuring water cascading down a mesh curtain into the ground, to be recirculated. Additionally, a new café and ticket kiosk will be added.

While most people are excited about the renovations, there are several hurdles. It is widely known that Bo Diddley Plaza has served as a gathering place for Gainesville’s homeless population, and many wonder where they will go during construction. There is a new homeless shelter on NE 39th Avenue that’s expected to absorb many of them. Additionally, there’s the issue of the Wednesday Farmer’s Market. A popular attraction, the Farmer’s Market expects to be able to find a temporary home in downtown Gainesville during the same weekly time, but hasn't made any concrete plans yet.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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