When Old Town Square is renovated next year the stage will likely move to a north corner tucked up against The Right Card and the iconic fountain will become a vernal pool. A new shade sculpture and outdoor fireplace will complete the major changes in the $3 million renovation project, according to a final schematic design approved by the Downtown Development Authority.
The project now enters the design development phase that further hones in on design concepts, budget and general contractor, which will continue through December.
Next month, a request for proposals for a construction manager/general contractor will be developed. Renovations will begin next year.
The beloved square is closing in on 30 years of use and all the wear and tear that comes from being a major downtown gathering spot. It is in need of major infrastructure improvements as well as a new design that makes it more amendable to concerts and festivals, uses that were not fully imagined when Gene Mitchell first built Old Town Square three decades ago.
Its eclectic mix of restaurants, niche shops, bars and public spaces will not change fundamentally. But the goal is to create spaces that work day and night during all four seasons and carry the square 30 to 50 years into the future, according to the DDA, which has committed $1.9 million in tax increment financing revenues and 2010, 2011 and 2012 bond proceeds that were earmarked but not appropriated.