Public Square plans moving forward, despite budget gap - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Public Square plans moving forward, despite budget gap

Organizers expect the Public Square project to wrap up before the RNC comes in summer 2016. (Source: WOIO) Organizers expect the Public Square project to wrap up before the RNC comes in summer 2016. (Source: WOIO)
A rendering of what Public Square will look like. (Source: James Corner Field Operations) A rendering of what Public Square will look like. (Source: James Corner Field Operations)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

From hotels to roads to public parks, Cleveland is pushing to get multiple projects done before the Republican National Convention next July, and one big one sits in the center of town.

Jeremy Paris is the executive director of the Group Plan Commission, which is leading the Public Square project. 

"The question I always got asked when I would be out talking about this project: 'Is it really going to happen?' and I think people see it's really happening," said Paris. 

Paris says the project is on schedule to be completed before the RNC, despite some issues surrounding funding. According to Paris, the project costs around $50 million, but there is still a $5 million deficit in the budget.

Still, Paris says he's confident that cost will be covered by support from local corporations and state funding. 

"We absolutely will be done by next June," said Paris. "This is a place that's designed to breathe, to work for big events, like the orchestra, but also for medium and small events, for community events for movie nights, for food trucks."

Ontario Street and Superior Avenue within the square have been closed off since March to accommodate construction.

Paris says, surprisingly, commuters have been patient.

"I think part of it is that people can see the crews working. They can see what’s happening and they’re excited about the project," said Paris.

And for good reason. It seems everyone is anticipating the revitalization of the Cleveland landmark.

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