INDIANAPOLIS -- The Midtown Indianapolis community is scrambling to raise enough money to preserve its original vision for renovations to Tarkington Park.
When bids for the project came in over budget, original plans for a cafe and plaza in the park were scrapped. To get them back, the neighborhood association needs to raise $200,000 by the end of the year. If they can hit that goal, the Central Indiana Community Foundation will chip in $100,000 and the City of Indianapolis will provide another $300,000 to help fill in a $600,000 funding gap.
They've raised just over half of the money needed, but Midtown Executive Director Michael McKillip says the group needs to show enough progress to the Department of Public Works in order to keep going.
"Our goal is to say a Herculean effort by residents who have been anticipating this park for years...," McKillip said. "Don’t discount, don’t let us lose those funds, don’t let us lose the project. And hope that the Department of Public Works Board agrees that the effort has been remarkable."
Community leaders see the cafe and plaza as critical elements in realizing their vision of turning Tarkington Park into a year-round destination for Indianapolis residents.
The work on overhauling the park at 38th and Illinois streets began in September. It’s expected to be completed in late spring.