Mayor Mike Porsch announced the funding to begin the project Thursday, Dec. 15, at an Open House event held at the library. The City is receiving a T-Mobile Hometown Grant that will provide seven
outdoor musical instruments, game tables, accessible benches and outdoor charging stations for laptops and cell phones. Storm Lake is one of 25 communities in the country to earn the T-Mobile grant, out of more than 400 applicants this funding cycle.
The project will revitalize a little-used downtown courtyard covered in worn concrete into a parklike setting featuring the colorful outdoor musical pieces for enjoyment by people of all ages. These instruments are drawn from multiple cultures – such as samba drums, calypso chimes and a cavatina.
The City hopes to continue the development of the library/Witter Gallery grounds in the future as funding is available, with covered seating and an outdoor deck for classes or performances, Mayor Porsch said. Environmentally-correct xeriscaping and butterfly gardens add a green element.
In one of the country’s most ethnically diverse small cities, music is a common language. Adding instruments to a complex that houses both the public library and a public art gallery, makes for joyful synergy. Literature, visual art, and music dovetail to create a thriving cultural center to inspire creativity for many years to come.
The five-year, $25 million T-Mobile national commitment is aimed at helping communities create innovative gathering spaces.
T-Mobile has now awarded 150 grants totaling $6.8 million. "Hometown Grants are truly making a difference in small towns," said Jon Freier, President, Consumer Group at T-Mobile. "It’s been humbling to see T-Mobile creating a positive lasting impact in communities both through our grant funding and giving back to small businesses all over the country."
Plans call for the musical instruments and other elements to be installed next spring/summer.
The open house event also included a showing of the updated Downtown Master Plan, a set of vision concepts to help guide efforts for the future of the heart of Storm Lake’s business community.