BUILD OUR PARK RELEASES Request for PROPOSALS to develop downtown park
june 26, 2018
Harrisonburg, VA – Build Our Park is seeking proposals from architectural and engineering teams to provide design and construction phase services for its proposed downtown park. Work on this project remains contingent on the City of Harrisonburg and Build Our Park arriving at a comprehensive agreement as part of the Public Private Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA) proposal submitted by the group to the City and accepted for consideration on March 27, 2018.
Proposals are due by: July 31, 2018. At the discretion of the Downtown Harrisonburg Park Corporation (Build Our Park), firms will be selected for an interview. A final selection will be made by August 1, 2018.
As Harrisonburg’s downtown continues its reemergence as a dynamic environment in which to live, work, eat and shop, the thoughts of many have turned to the need for more public green space at the City’s core.
In 2013, a diverse group of citizens joined together behind the goal of facilitating the creation of a public park in downtown Harrisonburg. The group, known today as Build Our Park and organized as the nonprofit Downtown Harrisonburg Park Corporation, has submitted an “unsolicited proposal” under the City Procedures Regarding the Public-Private Educational Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (“PPEA”) to develop a privately funded public park on City property in the heart of downtown.
Build Our Park makes this conceptual-level Proposal with deep civic pride and with the goal of creating, largely with private donations, a flexible and innovative — and most of all, enjoyable — public space that adds to the economic, cultural and civic vitality of the City of Harrisonburg.
In 2017, City staff provided guidance to members of Build Our Park’s Board regarding the potential footprint of a downtown park, and urged the organization to develop a conceptual plan for the facility in partnership with key city staff members. Build Our Park and City staff have maintained a strong dialogue regarding the best practical and legal vehicle to facilitate the development by a civic nonprofit organization, using specifically donated private monies, of a privately funded park on City-owned land. Recently, staff suggested to the organization that the PPEA approach would be appropriate for this purpose.
Build Our Park, with its uniquely qualified and motivated Board of Directors and volunteer force, stands ready to continue their fundraising and planning efforts arm-in-arm with the City of Harrisonburg. As the organization that has been committed to the furtherance of the downtown park initiative for five (5) years, we hope that in less than one year’s time elements of a beautiful multi-use park will begin emerging in downtown Harrisonburg.
On March 27, Harrisonburg City Council agreed to accept the Build Our Park Public-Private Education and Infrastructure Act (PPEA) proposal for further consideration, setting into motion the formal process that could define the structure for Build Our Park to work in partnership with the City to build a downtown park.