Casper’s downtown plaza now has a name and a final design.
The Downtown Development Authority recently unveiled plans for the 43,000-square-foot David Street Station. The public plaza at the corner of West Yellowstone and David Street could still open as planned during the 2016 holiday season, but DDA Executive Director Kevin Hawley said a spring 2017 opening is more likely.
“Quite honestly, if there’s significant savings by doing that delay it will be worth it,” Hawley said
Construction of the plaza is estimated to cost $7.5 million. Hawley said $5.5 million has been raised for the project so far, with $3 million coming from the city, $2 million from private contributions and $500,000 from a grant through the Wyoming Business Council.
The plaza has room for around 23 vendors and the ability to host 200 events each year, according to the DDA. The space is also intended to shift with the seasons, featuring both a summer mode and a winter mode.
A splash pad will be one of the area’s centerpieces in warm weather months and will feature different synchronizations and be lit at night. Come winter, Hawley said the free splash pad will be replaced by an ice skating rink and a 30-foot Evergreen Christmas tree. The design the DDA released also included a light canopy, possible art installations and a main entrance that Hawley compared to Casper Mountain.
“They put a lot of thought in how to utilize the space,” Casper City Councilmember Charlie Powell said. “I think they’ve put forth a design that will function well for a wide variety of uses.”
The space will also feature a small pop-up performance area for musicians, a second story observation deck that gives a bird’s eye view of the plaza and a turf lawn that faces the plaza’s main stage.
“It’d be a neat location for us to do some of our outings and activities,” said Blake Jackson, the vice president of downtown store Crazy Rainbow Fly Fishing and Wing Shooting.
Hawley said the Christmas tree lighting and the opening of the ice skating rink would happen seasonally around Thanksgiving. The area could be converted to summer mode in May, depending on the weather.
“This needs to be an actively managed and maintained event space,” Hawley said. “This can’t be ‘Hey, six times a year we use it.’ There is something going on every day, all year round. You don’t have to look at your calendar to find out if an event’s going on. Just come downtown. Something will be happening.”