Main Street Portsmouth is starting phase one of a project to replace public benches with a classic design that will last the years and provide seating in key beautification spots in downtown Portsmouth.
The current plan is to replace six benches in Tracy Park and four on Front Street, with plans to grow this in the future. “The current project will replace old benches and add new ones so that when people want to be downtown and enjoy its beauty, they have a nice place to sit.” said MSP Design Chairwoman and Past President Sue Burke.
The benches are the same that Main Street utilized in the Alexandria Park redesign, which continue to look brand new and withstand weather and time. The design is classic and features a plaque to honor a sponsor or loved one. .
“Sue does a great job at walking the line of quality that the downtown deserves, but finding it affordably, so that donors, members, and partners are appreciative of our efforts and conservative spending,” MSP Executive Director Joseph Pratt explained. “We hope to have the benches ordered shortly and anything we get beyond the need of this phase will go towards replacing benches on the Esplanade in the future.”
To assist in the $17,000 project, Main Street is seeking sponsors to help achieve the project.
The bench sponsorship covers the cost of the product, the plaque that will be mounted in honor of the sponsor, the products and labor of installation. The price to sponsor a bench is $1,700.
Main Street has already had luck with funding from local sources in early inquiries. The Scioto Foundation awarded a $5,000 Harold Micklethwaite Fund Grant to support the overall cost, along with donations from Southern Ohio Medical Center, Appalachian Wood Floors, in honor of Omalee Toleman, the Paul E Johnson Memorial Fund and the Portsmouth Beautification Society.
“Sponsoring a bench is a wonderful way to play a role in beautifying downtown Portsmouth, while honoring a loved one or respected business. Our donors on the Alexandria Bench project have responded kindly to the work accomplished on that area and now have a place to go and appreciate local beauty and know they played a part. We are happy to continue this project,” Burke explained.