By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green citizens will get a chance to vote on another major component of Wooster Green – the sculpture that will stand opposite the gazebo.
Those keeping an eye on the green space at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets may have noticed that a circular sidewalk was poured on Monday. The sidewalk and benches will surround a sculpture yet to be created.
A request will go out soon for local artists to submit concepts for sculptures that speak of the site where the artwork will sit – with Wooster Green taking the 1.2 acres that were previously home to the city’s senior high, then later the junior high school.
“It will try to capture the history of the site and Bowling Green,” Mayor Dick Edwards said on Monday evening. “It’s a marvelous opportunity for something.”
The sculpture should reflect the value of education and the learning that took place on that site, said Sharon Hanna, who is coordinating the fundraising for Wooster Green. Hanna said a committee will likely vet the sculpture designs then ask the public to make the final decision.
Though some have suggested that a type of water feature would be attractive with the sculpture, Edwards noted water fountains as part of public art “can be problematic.”
Citizens selected the layout of Wooster Green through a similar voting process.
“We’re anxiously awaiting what will go there,” Hanna said.
Two local families have donated funds for the sculpture. They remain anonymous for now.
Later this week, the interior sidewalks of the Wooster Green should be installed, said Brian Craft, director of public works for the city.
Later this fall, the space will have irrigation installed and grass planted.
And next spring, the entryway will be constructed at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets.
The space will also include trees and other landscaping, bicycle racks, benches, streetlights and trash receptacles that match the style used downtown. Plans also call for places where people can plug in to charge their handheld devices.
“It’s something that has been missing from our historic downtown landscape,” Edwards said of Wooster Green.
Donations and grants are still being sought for the project, since no city money is going toward the construction of the site. The estimated total cost for the site will be $450,000 – with about $350,000 being raised so far.
“We’ve had a nice response,” Edwards said. “We continue to get a lot of interest.”
Among the “generous” private donors are Tom and Dianne Klein, who donated $50,000 for the gazebo, the Rotary Club which donated funds for the entryway, and the Kiwanis Club which donated for the irrigation on the site.
The mayor mentioned Monday that efforts are still being made to find options for public restrooms that would service the green space. Edwards said the possibility of grant funding is being studied.