Construction of a 5-acre park in downtown Siloam Springs is expected to be completed this spring. The city in 2016 received a grant from the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program of the Walton Family Foundation to pay up to $300,000 for the design of the project, said Holland Hayden, city communication officer.
Carbo Landscape Architecture of Baton Rouge, La., was selected as the project designer, and Springdale-based contractorMilestone Construction Co. is building the park, which will be known as Memorial Park. It is being built around Siloam Springs Public Library, north of Jefferson Street and east of Mount Olive Street, and on the former site of Siloam Springs Memorial Hospital.
Construction on the $3.23 million project started in May 2018, and the work is being paid for with sales tax receipts from a 3/8th-cent sales tax, Hayden said. Voters in March 2016 approved to reallocate the existing sales tax, allowing for half of the receipts to pay for quality of life projects — with the remainder going to utility capital improvements.
The grant will pay for all but about $81,000 of the design work as a result of the project cost exceeding the original $2 million estimate, saidDon Clark, community development director for the city.
Memorial Park, formerly known as Medical Springs Park, will include a splash pad, amphitheater, landscaped and open areas and a new farmers market venue.
“The Design Excellence Program is based on a set of principles intended to strengthen public life, elevate the standards of sustainability and resilience in a community, celebrate local cultures and places, and build regional capacity by elevating local ambitions and building knowledge among both the design community and the public related to how design matters,”said Jeremy Pate, program officer for the Home Region Program of the Walton Family Foundation.