$3.1M Project Breaks Ground in Washington, IN

$3.1M Project Breaks Ground in Washington, IN

Reflecting “great excitement and anticipation,” city and county officials, joined by Denny Spinner, executive director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, officially broke ground on the $3.1 million Commons project in downtown Washington, IN. The event also formally launched the “Our Common Heritage” fundraising campaign.

“The Commons represents a critical project and joint effort that will positively impact the region for this generation and generations to come,” said Mayor David Rhoads. “We expect to see thousands of visitors and residents take part in a broad array of activities that will draw people to Washington, especially as we see continued growth in the coming microelectronics campus in the WestGate@Crane Technology Park.”

“For our city, county, and region to advance in a highly competitive environment, quality of place and quality of life issues must support workforce development and employee retention and attraction,” said Tony Duncheon, President of the Daviess County Council. “The Commons project represents a broad spectrum of positive collaboration and commitment from many partners to help achieve this.”

When completed, the multi-use facility will host concerts, civic events, farmer’s markets, celebrations and extended gatherings of organizations and families. While 2024 programming is now in the planning stages, the goal is for the space to be open for events around the holiday season later this year.

“Congratulations to the city of Washington and Daviess County for their collaboration to plan and launch the new Commons project,” said Spinner, who spoke at the event. “This solid quality of life project will positively impact the entire region and support overall rural life in Indiana.”

The Commons project features three new community facilities, replacing old, dilapidated buildings that were acquired and demolished through a $200,000 grant from Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI). The City of Washington has committed $2 million through 2027 for the Commons project, and the Daviess County Commissioners and Council have committed $750,000 through the same timeframe.

“When ROI launched the Ready Communities program five years ago, we hoped that it would empower communities to strategically plan and develop quality of place projects with the potential to transform the Uplands region,” said ROI President and CEO Tina Peterson.

“The Commons is a perfect example of what we hoped to achieve,” added Peterson. “While ROI’s foundational funding laid the groundwork for the Commons, Daviess County’s collaborative approach has given this project the vision, momentum, and energy to reach the finish line. It will be an asset for both the community and the region.”

“We are delighted and excited that two prominent businesses – German American Bank and TrueScripts – have stepped up and committed $250,000 each to become corporate sponsors in the Commons,” said Bryant Niehoff, Executive Director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. “The new German American Bank Stage and the TrueScripts Market Pavilion will be key features and the site of many activities within the Commons.” A facility corporate sponsor for an event pavilion east of the German American Bank Stage is now being sought.

“The German American Bank team is excited to see this important project move into the construction phase, and we count it a privilege to be able to support Washington and the entire Daviess County community with our sponsorship of the German American Bank Stage,” said Neil Dauby, President and CEO of German American Bank. “It’s an important company value to be able to give back to the communities we serve, and we look forward to the long-term success and positive impact of the Commons.”

Dean Merder, President and CEO of TrueScripts, noted: “The Commons will serve as an attractive centerpiece for Washington and Daviess County both now and for many years to come. Given that our headquarters is here and the fact that our team members largely live in the area, our sponsorship of the Pavilion reflects our commitment to the growth of the community and its quality of life.”

Additional funding for event programming, amenities, and facility sustainability is now also being pursued through the Our Common Heritage Campaign.

When the Commons reached its first funding threshold, a project bid process awarded the Tabor Owens Construction Group LLC the general construction work for the low bid of $3.1 million.

“We are grateful to the Knights of Columbus organization here in Washington, who provided the initial seed funding of $300,000 to get the project rolling,” said Niehoff. “Many have come forward to give momentum to this new era for the city and county.”

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