Pillars in the Park Renovation Project Update
The partnership between the City of Alliance, the Alliance Parks Foundation, and the Alliance Pillars for The Park Group (Pillars) continue to take meaningful strides toward renovating the sunken garden area in Central Park. These efforts include fundraising and developing planning documents.
To date, Pillars have raised around $200,000 for the renovation via donations and fundraisers. On top of these secured donations, City officials worked with Pillars in successfully obtaining a grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) through the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund (CCCFF) program. The City will receive up to $15,000 dollars for project planning from DED. Pillars Chairperson Tami Swearingen stated, “We are pleased the City was awarded a CCCFF grant from DED and hope this will allow us to partner with other organizations to produce more grant funding for this project. We have received a tremendous amount of support both locally and from donors across the United States. Continuing to receive these donations will ensure that we have the funds to move forward with the renovation project.”
For this renovation, City council contracted Baker and Associates Engineering of Scottsbluff for design development, project scope and cost estimates, and conceptual documents (drawings and narratives). The latter of which will help the public understand and envision what the results of the renovation will look like. Baker and Associates recently met with City staff to begin the planning process and, in the near future, they will hold a community input session to get feedback from interested parties on the design of the project. All are encouraged to attend and participate in this process.
Upon completion of the planning process, the City will ascertain when and if project construction can proceed. “Council has made it clear from the beginning that city funds will not be used for this project,” said Jeff Sprock, Alliance City Manager. “That is why working with Baker and Associates to build a project cost estimate is important.”
Once the City is satisfied funds are raised to complete the project, a bid advertisement will go out to contractors to complete the renovation. Currently, funds raised for the Pillar’s project reside in the trust of the Alliance Parks Foundation. The Foundation agreed to be the initial steward of funds raised for the renovation of our sunken gardens and will turn these funds over to the City when and if enough money is raised to complete the project. Therefore, it is critically important that the community continue to donate money to Pillars for the Park campaign.