The City of Hart had received a $436,090 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) with a $246,510 local match and was looking at downtown improvements including a special venue – a generational, community gathering area that could provide a sense of place, allow social interaction and in the end, promote the quality of life along the shore of Hart Lake. The plan was to develop a project that would entice local residents and visitors to extend their stay downtown, spark more public/private investment in infrastructure and promote building façade rehabilitation.
F&V assisted the city in ‘reimaging’ the downtown area, providing design and construction administration of the Hart Commons. The design goals were to accommodate a wide variety of uses at the Commons, provide accessibility for persons of all ages and physical ability and promote a sense of comfort and safety to people using the Commons.
The project included relocating overhead utilities underground, putting in a terraced surface with artificial turf, public restrooms, seating pavilions, performance stage area, landscaping with drip irrigation, decorative lighting and other electrical lightning.
Today, the Hart Commons has taken on a life of its own, becoming the rallying point for every major downtown event. The year-round sea of activity in the “true identifiable heart of the community” includes music and art in the park, fishing contests and the annual Christmas tree lighting.