Festival Park sees update, goes to bidding

Published 5:31 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

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The much anticipated Festival Park project is continuing to move forward. More updates have been provided after the announcement of the project going into bidding at the City Council’s work session held on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Suffolk Director of Capital Programs and Buildings Gerry L. Jones detailed the project’s schedule, noting that the festival park project was “advertised to solicit bids for construction on Friday, Sept. 22” and that bids are due on October 19.

When asked what the overall budget for the project and where the funds will be coming from, Jones detailed that this information has to be disclosed later.

“At this point, we have our engineer’s cost estimate for the project. However, the fact that we actually are in the process of soliciting bids for construction, we typically don’t disclose that estimate until after we receive bids,” Jones said. “That way we won’t influence the bids being developed by bidders. We’ll be happy to provide that estimate once bids are received on Oct. 19.”

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On the project’s goal to have “concerts, farmer’s markets, and other festivals,” Jones talked about the impact Suffolk residents will see following the park’s completion.

 “One of the main goals of the new Festival Park is to provide open green space in the core downtown for daily use by the citizens, but to also provide a venue for concerts, festivals, vendors markets, holiday events, etc. These types of events and activities will attract more patrons to downtown, thereby bringing more support to the downtown businesses, restaurants, and shops,” Jones said. “Along with the upcoming Central Library on W. Washington St., the Festival Park will become a destination in the downtown, meeting a key goal of the adopted Downtown Plan.”

Construction for Festival Park is planned for this December through June 2024. The grand opening will be in June 2024, during the start of Suffolk Parks and Recreation’s TGIF series.