GLASGOW – The group exploring the options for a public space in the downtown Glasgow vicinity finalized the pledge levels for naming rights for the primary features planned for the property that they intend to include in the committee's proposal to the Glasgow Common Council.
The Public-Private Parks Investigating Committee had already decided to recommend allowing the Bale family to have naming rights for the property with a $250,000 pledge it offered. The anticipated amphitheater could be named for a $225,000 contribution and the market pavilion for $175,000, the committee. Naming rights for a splash fountain area, playground and walking trail could be had for $100,000 each, and the naming price for the patio entrance area would be $50,000.
Those alone would total $1 million in contributions.
This panel can only make recommendations to the full council, which would make the final decisions on whether to accept those pledge levels.
Committee chairman Wes Simpson said he had asked Councilman Patrick Gaunce to check with the Bale family about exactly what sort of name they wanted, rattling off a few possibilities like Bale Commons, Bale Place or Bale Park. Gaunce had served as a liaison for the family and the committee in communicating the pledge.
A few minutes later, Gaunce stopped by the meeting briefly to advise that the Bales planned to have a meeting this week where that would be discussed.
Simpson announced that the Gaunce family wanted to pledge $100,000, and he asked for confirmation about whether it was the walking trail it wanted to sponsor.
“That's my family's desire, yes,” Gaunce said.
Simpson said that due to allowing for drainage and other practical matters, adequate space may not be available for a good path. A playground had been suggested as an alternate.
“We'll figure something out,” Gaunce said. “The money is still good; it's just a matter of where it gets placed.”
With a unanimous vote of the six members present, the committee decided its recommendation to the council will also include a pledge from the Gaunce family for $100,000 to name a walking trail or other feature.
Simpson and the other committee members also discussed other elements that could be sponsored for naming rights, such as benches, landscaping beds, pavers or bricks, a bike rack and reserved amphitheater seating. Some quantities and dollar figures were bandied about, but the group decided to wait until its next meeting in two weeks to finalize those.
In the meantime, Councilwoman Chasity Lowery, a committee member, suggested putting a request out to the public for ideas on other elements or features that might be sponsored with names, and some of the other members agreed and none objected.
One of the other primary topics was the possibility of splitting the pavilion intended for use by the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market into an enclosed portion and open portion as opposed to having the entire structure be one that could be open or enclosed in for cooler or inclement weather. The enclosed portion would still have one or more garage-type doors for easier loading and unloading. Simpson had found an example of one that a city in Canada built that he liked and displayed a photo of it for the others. Simpson said it could be a significant cost savings, but perhaps it could work, because there are fewer vendors in the winter months, but he asked Brandi Button, acting executive director for Sustainable Glasgow, the organization that operates the market, whether that would be too limiting for their purposes.
“No. What I discussed with the board yesterday was the idea of having 4,000 square feet enclosed …,” she said. “They said that with it being such a smaller market in the winter, they thought that would be enough space for what we have now and expansion.”
Simpson asked whether 2,000 square feet under cover in the winter would be enough.
Button said the board was behind the idea of splitting, but she would speak with them more about the inside size necessary.
Additional discussion about the ideas for that structure continued for a few minutes.
Simpson said that if that space is acceptable for the farmers, he thought they could get “a lot more bang for the buck,” and Lowery said the open pavilion could provide more options for other uses as well.
“It's the best of both worlds,” committee member Brian Clemmons said.
Lowery also suggested that because it's so close to the Water Street tunnel for which the city would soon be choosing a facade, perhaps they could tie in a similar facade somewhere with the park. Mayor Harold Armstrong said the tunnel facade is likely to have a stone appearance to keep it similar to the original stone structure.
Simpson had also prepared some map graphics showing all the public parking spaces within 1,000 feet of the property that could be considered available, plus spaces at surrounding businesses for which a sharing agreement could be reached and additional ones just outside the 1,000-foot range, and essentially, it appeared there could be enough parking for major amphitheater events.
The next meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at HVAC Services, but other locations for the meetings are being scouted. Any change will be announced in advance.