Community leaders, residents, children and donors officially kicked off “Build Week” with a groundbreaking ceremony Monday night.
The large group gathered for the ceremony is a testament to the project’s scope and the public’s involvement in it, Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis said.
“Grand Haven is a place where people like to live. They like to visit. They like to work here,” he said. “And a project like this fits into all those aspects of Grand Haven.”
McGinnis said he’s heard stories about the 1990 efforts to build the Imagination Station, and this 2018 Reimagine Project will be another chapter.
Reimagine Project Co-Chairman Chris Streng said it’s hard to believe that 16 months has passed since a fellow Rotarian said that something needed to be done with the Imagination Station. After members of community service organizations and community leaders met to discuss the nearly 30-year-old play area, they decided action needed to be taken.
Last fall, more than 100 students and 20 teachers designed the new play space that will be inclusive and engaging for everyone.
Throughout the past year, Streng said they’ve asked Wendy Creason for her guidance, and they were honored to break ground on Monday because she laid the groundwork with the original Imagination Station efforts.
The fundraising campaign was launched in January. With the help of local donations and a $50,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the $500,000 goal was met in July.
“We are truly blessed to have such a giving community,” Streng said. “Kristi (his wife) and I have been honored to lead this charge.”
Some of the children from “Design Days” attended Monday’s ceremony. Streng said he’s glad they were involved in designing the play space and will be part of “Build Week.”
Streng said he hopes to see some of the children involved in future groundbreaking ceremonies and efforts.
“Always remember, nothing gets done with just money. Nothing gets done with just time,” he said. “You need to put your heart and soul into it.”