LINCOLN CITY — The Lincoln City Cultural Center received news of a game-changing investment on June 29: the state budget passed with $1.5 million dollar lottery bond allocation for the Lincoln City Cultural Plaza project. The donors, supporters and media got to hear the news from Rep. David Gomberg at the Lincoln City Cultural Center on Tuesday.
With this show of financial support — in addition to the early investment of $200,000 by the City of Lincoln City and individual donations already made or pledged the Cultural Plaza Campaign — the $1.8 million project is now on the fast track for construction in 2020.
“The Lincoln City Cultural Center is about more than the visual and performing arts,” said Gomberg. “It is about supporting the retirement community and tourism. And it is about enhancing our blossoming art industry. Converting the parking lots and playgrounds at the iconic DeLake School into a modern cultural plaza will benefit the entire community.”
The money will come from the Cultural Resources Economic Fund, which include lottery-backed bonds as well as general fund dollars and appropriations through the Department of Administrative Services. The money will be available for project reimbursement in spring 2021.
Under the guidance of landscape architects Shapiro Didway, the board of directors has taken the project from inception to design over the past 18 months. The Cultural Plaza funding request was included in the budget as part of a slate of five projects approved by the Cultural Advocacy Coalition.
"We are so thrilled and thankful for the support of the State of Oregon, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition and all the legislators who helped bring this investment to Lincoln City," said board president Greg Berton. "Most of all, we thank Rep. Gomberg, who has been such an amazing champion for Lincoln City and the Cultural Center."
Because the project is still in the design phase and these state funds will not be available for two years, the fundraising activities of the Cultural Plaza Campaign will continue as planned. The committee is selling commemorative bricks, and will offer more naming opportunities in the months to come.
"This is such amazing news," said board treasurer and volunteer project manager John Collier. “It will give us the financial backing we need to complete design and engineering, find our contractor, and prepare for construction in 2020. But the community needs to know that in order to secure these funds, we promised $250,000 in individual donations — and we're only halfway there. We're asking for your continued support as we transform this property."
For information on the Cultural Plaza, call the Cultural Center at 541-994-9994 or head to lincolncityculturalcenter.org/plaza.