A possible update for the plaza located on the Public Square’s northwest quadrant was suggested by consultants from MKSK Studios, who studied the downtown/riverfront corridor area, and the Activate Troy Partnership, a group of individuals and organizations looking to improve that area.
MKSK consultants found the city has “a vibrant downtown” and does “an excellent job bringing people downtown,” said Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director.
What they found missing were things to make Prouty Plaza “a place where people can gather” for lunch or during the day, he said. Events such as summer outdoor concerts and the annual Mayor’s Concert in August draw large crowds in the evenings.
Both public restrooms and a permanent stage have been discussed for years. A portable “showmobile stage” is used along with a restroom vehicle for current downtown activities.
The three concepts included options such as use of the showmobile or a new earthen permanent stage, a restroom facility to the north and use of the mural on the Mayflower theater building as the backdrop on the plaza’s western side. A third option suggested a different design on the building and a more elaborate restroom building. The concepts also included landscape bricks, walkways, grass areas, and, if desired, benches and picnic tables.
The "extremely conservative, very first blush numbers" outlined by Titterington were $50,000 to $100,000 for surface area improvements, $100,000 to $150,000 for a permanent stage and $100,000 to $150,000 for restrooms.
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“It would take a lot more time, effort and design work before we went to the next stage,” Titterington said of any project.
The city would look for corporate sponsors for parts of the project along with grants and other funding.
Park Board Chairman Alan Kappers said naming rights would need to be discussed further. “Something small, tasteful” would be his choice for any signs giving credit for support, he said.
“I definitely like the idea of getting some public restrooms,” said board member Susan Westfall.
She said she understood there is a lot of “passion” for the existing mural but suggested something “fresh” possibly should be explored.