BOWLING GREEN—Local entrepreneurs will soon have the opportunity to set up shop close to the square in downtown Bowling Green as soon as the first chalet is completed and placed on the lot that fronts S. Court Street next to MASH.
“The lots that we have downtown have plans to create one large event space, which consists of multiple projects including the Market Place Chalets,” said Tracy Brookshier, chair of the Chamber of Commerce Revitalization Committee. She was recently named Chamber president.
“Our first chalet should be complete by spring, we have rental interest from about five people. We discussed where to place the first one and the things we will need to do in order to get the chalet moved from PLTC to our lot, get it leveled and ADA compliant,” she noted. “We also discussed getting an electrician to trench a separate outlet over to where we plan on the chalets being placed. We hope that the rental income will assist us in completing the other projects for this lot.” They plan on placing four of the chalets on the lot.
“We would like to thank Tony Windmiller for fixing the damaged trash cans,” Brookshier said. Some of the trash enclosures were damaged last year during a storm. “We are likely going to have to replace the locks on the rest of the trash cans to keep them from falling open. We are working with Economic Development to apply for a grant that would allow us to purchase benches and trash cans made from recycled materials in hopes that we can eventually replace the trash cans again, because it seems the ones we currently have may not last us as long as hoped.”
Brookshier noted that NECC Building Trades is working on four more planter-benches for the downtown area, and three of them have sponsors.
Dempsey Construction was picked from a number of bids to build the Liberty Theater on the same site off of S. Court Street. Brookshier said the cost is estimated at less than $14,000.
“This will be the glorified entrance to our lot space. It will have event storage, ticket window, windows to display upcoming events and a breezeway full of plaques for our donors,” she said.
In addition to the theater entrance, the committee is also seeking donations for a permanent state area. “The stage we are thinking will be a simple deck platform roughly 20 feet by 16 feet, with a roof, so we can use it for entertainment.”
She also said they would be making other improvement to the lot. Concrete planters are in the works. Bleigh Ready Mix has agreed to donate the concrete and 3B Machine and Weld has agreed to donate the form needed to create them.
“The plan is to start with roughly 12 of these to border our lot. They will be filled with dirt and flowers as well as a 10-foot post from which we can use to hang banners, lights and flowers. Once they are complete, we will need assistance getting them moved,” she said. “We have had two local community clubs agree to help plant the flowers and have Prairies Edge Garden Center working on a quote for flowers. We have also been told that NECC is donating four flats of flowers for us to use.”
The committee also plans on getting more of the planters to place around the square and maybe eventually try to continue them down the roads leading to the square.
“In total, these projects will cost us roughly $50,000 once complete,” she said. “We will continue to do fundraisers until complete.”
The next event/fundraiser will be the spring concert—Saturday, April 25 from 2-10 p.m. Plans are for having food and craft vendors, a paint the street contest, a pie eating contest, an open mic, a corn hole contest, a beer garden, and live band. Additionally, there will be T-shirts for sale with sponsorship opportunities.