Public art board will seek public input for $200,000 project at Jeremy Ranch roundabouts
The Jeremy Ranch roundabout project is changing traffic patterns near Interstate 80 and causing headaches for some commuters as the construction finishes up this fall.
At 250-feet across, the roundabouts are also massive and changing how the entire area looks.
With such a large-scale project on a gateway to the community, the Summit County Council decided during last year’s budget negotiations to appropriate $200,000 to add public art to the area, County Manager Tom Fisher said.
Normally, the county kicks in public-art funding for building projects, like the County Fairgrounds, and not infrastructure projects like roads or roundabouts. In fact, according to an executive order from Fisher, the county adds funding for public art equal to 1 percent of the total project cost for county buildings.
So far, that’s netted art in the South Summit County Services Building in Kamas and plans for art in the Ledges Event Center, which was part of the revamp of the County Fairgrounds. The budgets for those art projects are $60,000 and $50,000, respectively.
The Summit County Public Art Advisory Board is in charge of figuring out how to spend that money, and it met last week with county Public Works Director Derrick Radke to coordinate efforts for an installation in the roundabouts.
The board’s administrator, Jocelyn Scudder, said it’s important the process involves the public, which is something the board did while selecting art for the building in Kamas.
Radke told the group that project delays have made it unlikely the grading and landscaping work will be completed this year, and asked whether the board had a plan yet for an installation.
The roundabout project has about $325,000 budgeted for landscaping and grading work, which Radke said would include mountain trees and rock displays. Board members asked Radke to delay any grading work until a plan for the art installation is finalized.
If the project were to feature large sculptures that would require a sturdy foundation, it would make sense for the installation and landscaping work to occur in conjunction, Radke said, likely in early spring.
Fisher said he has discussed the plan with Radke, and it seemed likely the landscaping work could wait until the board came up with a plan.
Scudder said the group has discussed gathering input from a wide variety of sources, including schoolchildren. The public process will last about eight to 10 weeks, Scudder said, and the board will focus on the project through the winter.
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Gallons of icing, hundreds of pounds of gingerbread, and a lot of hard work make for a magical display.