PORTSMOUTH — The Scioto Foundation has awarded a 2021 “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth” grant for $50,000 to the City of Portsmouth to support the creation of an outdoor public space known as the Market Street Median Pavilion.
A priority project in the recent Portsmouth City Master Plan, the Market Street Pavilion will be erected on the Market Street median and include a new stamped concrete foundation. The design will align with the historical appropriateness of the Boneyfiddle District and complement the city’s downtown charm, as described by Portsmouth Development Director Tracy Shearer. The project will create a social center for activity and celebration, providing a shelter for eating, socializing and relaxation.
The $50,000 “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth” grant will assist with the costs of construction and materials for the Market Street Median Pavilion. It is an outcome of the 2019 “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth” Summit which led to the creation of the “Elevate Portsmouth” Master Plan. The plan was generated by the design firm MKSK in Columbus. The total cost of the project is estimated at $260,000.
“This is the third year the Scioto Foundation has made grant awards from its “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth” planning project,” said Kim Cutlip, Scioto Foundation Executive Director. “This year the request for proposal asked for applications that dealt with projects
germane to the City of Portsmouth’s Master Plan. I am thrilled that the Scioto Foundation Board awarded $50,000 to the City of Portsmouth to help create the Market Street Pavilion.”
The project will construct two median pavilions, one on each end of the Market Street median between Second and Third Streets and replace the brick pavers with stamped concrete.
Plans call for construction of the Market Street pavilions to begin in the spring of 2022 as weather permits and take approximately one to two months for completion. The structure at the south end of Market Street will be approximately 105’ x 20’ and the structure at the north end of Market Street will be approximately 65’ x 20’, leaving the center open. This option will not eliminate any parking, according to Shearer who wrote the grant application.
This project is intended to provide a new public gathering space for Portsmouth. It will offer accommodations for patrons of Kathy Sue’s Bakery, Market Street Café and farmers’ markets. The pavilion will also provide shelter for the public yearlong, as well as during Winterfest, Glocktoberfest and the farmers’ markets.
Several Boneyfiddle business owners, investors and advocates expressed their support for the City’s grant application which was submitted to the Scioto Foundation for consideration by First Ward Councilman Sean Dunn.
During the 2019 “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth Summit” some 70 selected individuals representing the local business community, as well as nonprofit and governmental sectors, came together to form and strengthen relationships with one another. In addition, they explored and developed a strategic vision for the downtown, identified critical issues and opportunities facing the downtown and built momentum for continued community collaboration. Grant applicants for the “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth Grant Initiative” are
required to focus upon the key strategic issue areas and the strategic issue statements uncovered during the summit. These included Marketing and Branding, Infrastructure Development/Housing, Youth Development and Collaboration and Communication.
After the 2019 summit the Scioto Foundation committed to offering large annual grants for projects that will attract additional investment in downtown Portsmouth and address concepts outlined in the “Elevate Portsmouth Master Plan.”
The 2021 “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth” grant came from the Margaret Anne Strehle Fund, the Marian Caskey Unrestricted Fund and the Richard D. Marting Fund invested at the Scioto Foundation.
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