Press Release

Celebrating Completion of the 5th Street Commons Share

Jul 18, 2019  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

It’s time to cel­e­brate a new­ly revi­tal­ized event space Down­town, Mar­i­on! Thriv­ing Fam­i­lies, Thriv­ing Grant Coun­ty has been work­ing close­ly with the City of Mar­i­on to revamp one of the largest City-owned public/​private park­ing lots at 5th and Wash­ing­ton Streets into a mul­ti­pur­pose out­door space for the com­mu­ni­ty, now called the 5th Street Com­mons. TFTGC’s Qual­i­ty of Life and Place work­ing group acti­vat­ed a plan in 2017 to improve the exist­ing lot based on the goals of the Mar­i­on 2030 Com­pre­hen­sive Plan. 

The work took place in two phas­es. In Octo­ber of 2018, a paved gath­er­ing spot with land­scap­ing and seat­ing was com­plet­ed in the lot near Wash­ing­ton St. In the spring and sum­mer of 2019, a mir­rored gath­er­ing spot was cre­at­ed on the Adams St. side; the entire lot was repaved, striped and renum­bered; light­ing was added and updat­ed; elec­tri­cal box­es were installed for event use; and new land­scap­ing includ­ing fresh­ly plant­ed trees now encom­pass the reju­ve­nat­ed space. TFT­GC and the City of Mar­i­on con­tract­ed work with Dave’s Exca­vat­ing, Inte­ri­or Jun­gle, Rex Collins, and Indi­ana Michi­gan Pow­er, and received in-kind/in-house assis­tance from the City of Marion’s City­wide Main­te­nance, Engi­neer­ing & Traf­fic, and Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment Depart­ments as well as the Build­ing Com­mis­sion­er and Arborist. The project was com­plet­ed by the end of June, 2019 with­in the desired timeline. 

The project would not have been com­plet­ed with­out local dona­tions and grants as well as match­ing fund­ing from the State of Indi­ana. TFT­GC Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Cathy Weath­er­spoon, led a crowd­fund­ing effort which raised over $29,000. This achieved a match­ing grant of $27,000 through the Indi­ana Hous­ing and Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment Authority’s Patron­ic­i­ty’ pro­gram. The Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tion of Grant Coun­ty also award­ed the project with a grant of over $10,000. Many oth­er gen­er­ous dona­tions were received from var­i­ous groups and indi­vid­u­als, and some con­trac­tors made com­mit­ments of large val­ue to help imple­ment and sus­tain the 5th Street Commons. 

May­or Jess Alum­baugh stat­ed, This project is a great exam­ple of what the com­mu­ni­ty can accom­plish when work­ing togeth­er to reach a com­mon goal. The 5th Street Com­mons enhances our qual­i­ty of place and serves as a space for com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to gath­er togeth­er and share with one another.”

To cel­e­brate the suc­cess and col­lab­o­ra­tion, the com­mu­ni­ty is invit­ed to a Rib­bon Cut­ting for the 5th Street Com­mons on Wednes­day, July 24th, 2019 at 6:30pm. Live music by the Ronald Mor­rell Trio will start the evening around 6pm. The Rib­bon Cut­ting will take place at 6:30pm fol­low­ing by a live open-air per­for­mance of Oth­el­lo by the Shake­spear­i­an reper­to­ry group, Hoosier Shakes, begin­ning at 7:30pm. There will be a talk back’ ses­sion about the play led by TFTGC’s Lead­er­ship and Engage­ment work­ing group. Cup­cakes and non-alco­holic sparkling drinks will be offered at the cel­e­bra­tion. The event is free, and the pub­lic is encour­aged to come and bring friends and fam­i­ly. There is ample park­ing sur­round­ing the event space.

Out­side nor­mal leased park­ing hours, you are invit­ed to reserve the 5th Street Com­mons for an evening or week­end event of your own! At this time, there is no charge to reserve the space. You may con­tact Janet Pear­son with the City of Mar­i­on at (765) 3823774 or jpearson@​cityofmarion.​in.​gov to find more information.

Weath­er­spoon hopes the venue will draw diverse events such as out­side church func­tions or ser­vices, dance per­for­mances, and more. It is already being booked for com­mu­ni­ty events. Look for upcom­ing events at venues includ­ing the 5th Street Com­mons at www​.DoGrant​Coun​ty​.com.

About Thriv­ing Fam­i­lies, Thriv­ing Grant Coun­ty:
Thriv­ing Fam­i­lies, Thriv­ing Grant Coun­ty is a Col­lec­tive Impact process that enables Grant Coun­ty com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to address com­plex social issues through cross-sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion with­in the three net­works of Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment, Fam­i­ly Well-Being, and Tal­ent Pipeline.

Janet Pear­son, Dep. Direc­tor of Devel­op­ment Ser­vices, City of Mar­i­on: 765.382.3774 / jpearson@​cityofmarion.​in.​gov
Cathy F. Weath­er­spoon, MS, Exec. Direc­tor, TFT­GC: 765.662.0065 / cathy@​thrivinggrantcounty.​com

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