The Pack Square Conservancy board voted Wednesday to spend $14,400 to spruce up and market the area around the new Pack Square Park during upcoming construction.
The money will go to helping pedestrians navigate the construction site as work begins next week, and to boost the public’s awareness about the downtown businesses surrounding the park. Valley Crest Landscape Design has been awarded a $7.5 million contract to perform a variety of work on the 6.5-acre rectangular park that extends from Biltmore Avenue eastward to the front steps of Asheville City Hall and the Buncombe County Courthouse. Work will include the construction of water features, performance stages and landscaping. Construction will start in the area in front of the the city and county buildings, then move to Pack Square.
The Pack Square Conservancy, which is overseeing the park construction, voted to spend:
• $4,600 on a mural by fresco artist Ben Long, who plans to work with local artists. The 26-foot-long mural will be painted on a series of panels that will line College Street adjacent to the middle of the park.
• $4,200 on 150 feet of fence graphics. Color images depicting a park rendering and directions to area businesses will be printed on vinyl mesh, which will be mounted on green mesh covering chain link fencing surrounding the park.
• $2,300 on changes to the project’s Web site, www.packsquarepark.org. The changes will highlight the park’s surrounding downtown business district.
• $3,000 to maintain pedestrian access through the park during construction. Fencing and signs will move as the construction advances.
• $300 for a section of 8-foot-tall fencing at the corners of the park.
In other action, board members reiterated a new push to raise $5 million to complete its fundraising for the park’s $20.2 million construction budget. Board Chairwoman Carol King said the public controversy over the proposed Parkside condominium plan forced the board to stop its fundraising activities. “We heard loud and clear that it was time to back off,” King said of potential donors.
The board hopes to raise $3 million in “lead gifts” from donors by December, then launch a public campaign to raise the rest. The fundraising activity will coincide with the increasing construction activity happening on the park, King said.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor