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The Park Celebrates Ground-Making

The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation will celebrate the culmination of five years of planning and fundraising for the 5.2-acre deck park that will bridge over Woodall Rodgers Freeway with a groundbreaking ceremony and press conference. The event held today at the Parkside Condos will “make” ground by bringing together the people who made the Park possible. 

Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts students have prepared a special performance using their talents in theatre, dance, music and visual art to express the importance of the Park as a community gathering place. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson will join the festivities to speak about the significance of the project for Dallas and the impact that federal stimulus funds have had for the project. Mayor Tom Leppert will celebrate the city’s public, private partnership. Additional honored guests participating in the ceremony include state lawmakers, members of the Dallas City Council, TxDOT leadership, Park designers, contractors and board members.

“We are making ground today – common ground – that will unify our neighborhoods and our civic spirit,” said Linda Owen, president of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. “Parks are a place where people can come together and enjoy life’s simple pleasures without a lot of planning or expense. We are grateful for all of our partners and supporters who have created this Park that Dallas will soon enjoy.”

Construction for the 5.2 acre deck park that will provide pedestrian connectivity between Downtown, Uptown and the Arts District can be expected to begin within the next 30 to 60 days, as early as the end of October. A general construction schedule will be released after the contractor, Archer Western, participates in a pre-construction meeting with TxDOT. The base park is slated for completion in late 2011 with amenities, like the restaurant and performance pavilion, expected to be complete in 2012.

The Foundation has initiated the final phase of its fundraising campaign to raise $30 million for The Park’s amenities and programming. Naming opportunities, including the Park’s future name, are included in this final phase of the capital campaign.

“The groundbreaking is perhaps the most exciting and significant milestone for The Park to date,” said Jody Grant, chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Board. “With construction underway, The Park becomes tangible, and we hope the excitement around its new visibility will encourage people to help us realize The Park’s full potential.”

In March, The Park received $16.7 million in federal stimulus funds dedicated to transportation enhancement. The Park is a public, private partnership funded with a commitment of the private sector, the City of Dallas, and the State of Texas.

For background information, please visit www.woodallrodgerspark.org. A new, updated Web site, www.theparkdallas.org will launch in Oct. 2009. TxDOT mobility information, including lane closures, will be found on the new Web site, among other enhanced features.
 

About The Park

The Park is a 5.2-acre deck park that will create an urban green space over the existing Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul streets. The park will provide connectivity to the city’s flourishing Arts District, bring cultural offerings together and serve as a central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors to enjoy.

In addition to the Restaurant and Performance Pavilions, plans for the park include jogging trails, a dog park, a children’s playground, a water sculpture, an area for games and much more.

Construction is funded through a public, private partnership including $20 million in bond funds from the city of Dallas, $20 million in highway funds from the state and federal government through TxDOT and $20 million from private donations. In March, the Park was selected to receive $16.7 million in stimulus funds that are specifically for transportation enhancement construction. The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation continues to raise private donations, including the naming rights for the park, to fund amenity construction, operations and programming.

The design and construction of the park is being managed by Bjerke Management Solutions and the design is led by two nationally-recognized design firms, The Office of James Burnett and Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

Jody Grant serves as Chairman of the Board of the Woodall Rodgers Foundation and is joined by President Linda Owen, Leo Corrigan, Ed Fjordbak, Sheila Grant, John Muse, Rob Walters, and John Zogg. The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation office is located within the Dallas Center for Architecture at 1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Suite 100.
 
 
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