A downtown community plaza with a splash pad and other amenities in Hillsboro took a step closer to reality Tuesday when city council members approved a contract for an architectural firm to design it.
LK Architecture, Wichita, will be paid up to $18,000 for its work on the project, at an hourly rate of $140 an hour.
The plaza will have a splash pad, pavilion, outdoor eating areas, a screen for shade, and parking. Solar panels and an electric vehicle charging station are also in the plan.
“This is so exciting for our project, to get it going,” said Staci Silhan, coordinator of a community board that has worked five years to bring the idea into reality.
After much fund raising, the account now holds $151,910, which includes a $100,000 donation from Herington Hospital’s Hillsboro Clinic.
Residents have pledged $20,000 in-kind donations and many hours of labor, and Kansas Power Pool will provide a $25,000 solar installation on the site.
“It costs a lot of money to hire a firm like this, but it can also save us money in the long term,” Silhan said.
The design is to be finished by February.
“I think certainly it will be in construction phase by this spring and summer,” Silhan said.