SPOKANE, Wash. - Last week, the park board unveiled some proposals for artwork in the park. What they didn't reveal was that the cost estimates for those projects were higher than expected. Much higher.
Artist Meejin Yoon is the head of the Department of Architecture for MIT and her work has been exhibited all over the world. But she's also pretty expensive. $450,000 was set aside for the project, but it became clear this week that that figure is far from enough.
The artist sent the park board estimated costs for her projects. The Step Well would cost the city an estimated $155,000. The Sky Gazer would cost between $746,000 and $1.1 million. The Wind Tunnel would cost between $790,000 and $1.8 million, and the Earth Ring between $1.8 million and $5.2 million, more than ten times the original budget for the whole product.
Spokane Park Board member Ted McGregor seemed put off by the estimations, but not discouraged. “We're always listening. If you fall in love with it and the community falls in love with it, and we can close the gap, maybe a donor who's a real patron, we can talk about it. But, we went into this thinking she could come up with an art piece with the budget that we set up.”
Both McGregor and Parks and Recreation Director Leroy Eadie remain confident there's plenty of ways to shave these estimations. They're not ruling out the possibility of any of the four projects at this time.
Park board members and the city council are approaching the park project patiently. The Riverfront Park Committee is holding a special meeting Monday morning, but no decision is expected to be made until early spring 2018.
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