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Woodall Rodgers Park Celebrates Open House, Announces Groundbreaking Timeline

The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation is celebrating the public, private partnership’s progress today at a joint press conference with Mayor Tom Leppert and City Councilwoman Angela Hunt. The press conference and an open house reception at the Park office are co-hosted with DOWNTOWN Dallas.

In late March, the Park was awarded $16.7 million in federal transportation enhancement stimulus funds. With construction funding in place for the base deck park, the Foundation, the City of Dallas, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments have been working closely to establish a groundbreaking timeline.

TxDOT plans to advertise the project bid in June and award the Woodall Rodgers Park construction contract on July. The selected contractor will receive a notice to proceed  in the early fall with groundbreaking expected shortly thereafter. A ceremonial groundbreaking is slated for the first week of September.

“The Woodall Rodgers Park is on its way,” said Jody Grant, Chairman of the Board for the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. “We will soon see a world class park transform the geography and culture of our city center, bringing people together to enjoy Dallas in a new way.”

The Park’s completion is projected for the fall of 2011 and amenities are projected to be complete in 2012.

Mayor Leppert praised the efforts of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson in making sure the federal funds came this way.

“Congresswoman Johnson works quietly but persistently behind the scenes to make things happen for Dallas,” said Mayor Leppert. “And thanks to the work she did to secure stimulus funds for Dallas, this project has been accelerated.”

Congresswoman Johnson was the only Member of Congress from North Texas to vote for ARRA. Congresswoman Johnson said in a statement that she supported ARRA because it would help support projects critical to Dallas.

“The Woodall Rodgers Deck Plaza will rejuvenate a key section of Dallas and play a significant role in the development of the Dallas Arts District,” she said.  “It will link Downtown Dallas and Uptown Dallas with an aesthetically-pleasing and environmentally-friendly new landmark.  I am pleased that economic recovery funds will enable TxDOT to begin construction on the Woodall Rodgers Deck Plaza in September, putting North Texans to work in the process.”

Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Aims to Raise $20 - $25 Million

The Foundation aims to raise $20 to $25 million in private funding for the Park’s amenities and operations during the next phase of the capital campaign. Naming opportunities, including the Park’s future name, will be included in the second phase of fundraising.

The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation has raised $77.7 million in public and private funds to date. The public, private partnership includes $20 million in bond funds from the city of Dallas, $20 million in highway funds from the state and federal government through TX DOT 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 additional public funds will allow private donations to go towards amenities and Park operations.

The total cost for the park construction is estimated as approximately $80 million as defined by $49 million for the base deck park and approximately $21 million for the park improvements and core amenities. The private sector also hopes to raise approximately $7 to $12 million for special amenities like the fountain and solar canopy panels. Additional costs that have been and will be continue to be funded by the private sector include $13 million in operations, design and engineering from the Park’s inception through the first three years of operations. The Foundation has funded all engineering and design for the base park construction. The construction estimates are approximate amounts based on current design plans.

“We have seen incredible public and private sector support for this project because it is a defining city project for Dallas,” said Grant. “The additional public dollars to start construction for this project are an encouragement to our fundraising goals as people see a great Dallas legacy take shape.”

The Foundation will continue to raise money for and manage park operations, maintenance, improvements and programming after completion.

Foundation Unveils Inspiring Park Watercolors at Event

The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation open house from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 30 will feature a new series of watercolors renderings that showcase the Park as a great urban gathering space.

The Foundation commissioned world-renowned illustrator, Michael McCann of Michael McCann Associates Ltd. of Toronto and Kevin Sloan of Kevin Sloan Studio in Dallas to bring the vision for the Park to life through a set of watercolors and messaging that support the Foundation’s capital campaign.

“Jim Burnett, our landscape architect, has designed a truly great urban space, and we are all thrilled to see his beautiful design underway” said Grant. “In the meantime, Michael McCann and Kevin Sloan have helped us paint Jim’s vision for the people of Dallas to enjoy.”

About The Park

The Woodall Rodgers 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. Like the Washington Mall in D.C., the park will provide connectivity to the city’s flourishing Arts District, bringing world-class cultural offerings together as a central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors to enjoy.

Plans for the park include jogging trails, a dog park, a children’s playground, a restaurant, a performance pavilion, a water sculpture, an area for games and much more.

The park is being designed by The Office of James Burnett in conjunction with the engineering firm of Jacobs Carter Burgess. Bjerke Management Solutions is the project manager.

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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