With the majority of the roof already installed on the Legacy Square pavilion, the project continues to pick up speed.
And during Monday’s Ottawa City Commission study session, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Coen discussed the project and the work that still lies ahead for city officials.
“Things are rolling along,” Coen said. “The roofs going on, and the bronze medallions are being installed. And, the Legacy bricks should be installed this week.”
Earlier this spring, Onward Ottawa officials broke ground on the Legacy Square pavilion and park venue at First and Walnut streets. The square is expected to feature more than 20,000 square feet of green space, covered canopies and a large covered pavilion providing outdoor event space for community events.
With a grand opening celebration scheduled next month, Ottawa Mayor Blake Jorgensen asked if the chain-link fence surrounding the venue would be removed before the event. Officials were told the fence would be gone in time for the celebration.
“(But) we won’t be 100 percent at grand opening,” Coen said. “There’s a bridge that won’t be completed…as we have some issues to figure out.”
One of those issues, he said, was related to an 8-foot medallion that will eventually be placed. The original material selected, officials learned, was not durable, and would need to be replaced within a few years. However, Coen said that officials had to take some time and look at the matter, which caused a slight setback.
Coen and Chamber Community Liaison Ryland Miller also discussed with commissioners the details of operating an event venue, and how to develop an agreement among the city, chamber and Ottawa Municipal Auditorium. Miller presented information he compiled that looked how six different communities across the United States, including two from Kansas, handled issues such as deposits, event scheduling and parking.
“There are a lot of moving parts that have to be considered, and the one thing we know for sure is we can’t just build it and expect to be a success,” Coen said. “It’s going to have to have somebody who manages it, but advertises it as well. Because we want the space to be used and utilized and become not only a part of the life of our downtown, but a part of the life of our community. So, I think it bears looking at how a (Memorandum of Understanding) could work, and all the things we need to figure out to make it a success.”
“We’re always going to be joined at the hip,” City Manager Richard Nienstedt said. “But if we follow the process - which is pretty tried and true - that’s how we get through those issues and get them addressed before the event takes place.”