2018 - 2019. The old Meadville Club was purchased and demolished to make an outdoor space for clients of The Arc and the community; the building floor was removed; the concrete section over Mill Run was left intact for the Mill Run ADA walkway (will be highlighted with a street-bond painting); rock rubble was removed from the site; fill dirt added; grass planted. We secured two large grants to support the project including:
· Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ (PCA) Creative Communities Initiative (CCI), which has supported community engagement, site planning, and design; and is providing match funding for our second grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
· DCNR Development Grant, together with the last two years of our CCI grant, will fund site construction and amenities.
Several community events were held, including site and mural design workshops, live music, and our first outdoor movie night. More than 60 people attended the showing of The Greatest Showman.
2020. R&D for site design; additional grants were secured from the PCA Project Stream and PA Humanities Council Heart/Soul for Bloom Where You’re Planted, a community-inspired relief mural. Community events were held including: mural charettes; live music (outdoor) concerts featuring local/regional musicians; a community chalk drawing; and experimentation with color choice/designs for the Mill Run ADA Walkway. The Meadville community participated in naming Bloom Where You’re Planted using google surveys provided on social media.
2021. Research into shade structures and solar-powered sculptural pergolas, which we hope will be completed in the future pending funding. Installation of three solar-powered umbrella tables and a WiFi Hotspot, both of which opened up use of the site starting in spring 2022. Final site design and preliminary engineering were ongoing.
2022. Purchase and installation of three solar powered umbrella tables; Wifi hotspot installed by Armstrong Cable; development of final landscape plan (Amara Geffen and Alessandra Galleti, landscape architect), and engineer-approved construction drawings (Porter Engineering) were finalized. Bid documents were filed and approved by DCNR. A second community mural, Birds on a Wire, was completed and installed in September 2022. The bid contract was awarded to Dynasty Construction in December. Design development for the mural Celebrating Mill Run was begun. Second outdoor movie (Encanto) along with food trucks, chalk drawing, face painting, clown balloons, and family friendly games. More than 250 people attended the event.
2023. Site construction began March 6th and will be finished June 30, 2023. Our 3rd relief mural, Celebrating Mill Run, is in fabrication and will be installed in late June. Community events will resume in July and a formal dedication will be planned for early August.