Other Community Projects
The following projects also require significant community resources from governments, foundations, corporations, or private donors. Some are nearly funded; others are ideas or suggestions.
Owensboro High School Expansion
The Owensboro Board of Education plans a $13 million expansion and renovation at Owensboro High School that may include a new gymnasium, artificial turf for the football field, auditorium sound and lighting, fine arts center renovation (if the public library swap goes through), and more.
The OHS basketball team would play its home games at the school rather than at the Sportscenter, and the campus would have an assembly facility that accommodates the entire student body.
Artificial turf on the football field would enable officials to convert the current practice field to parking or construction. Some site plans may call for the demolition of Longfellow School, which many consider to be important historically and architecturally.
OHS Shifley Park Athletic Annex
The city school board plans to concentrate all outdoor athletic facilities (except for football) at Shifley Park. The board purchased contiguous property for $575,000. Plans include facilities for baseball, softball, soccer, and in later phases, tennis and track. Since facilities are not contiguous to the OHS campus, the board cannot use bond funds and has had to draw from the General Fund.
The Daviess County Public Library District Trustees continue to explore options for a new community library. A swap of the current library property for Frederica Street property owned by the Owensboro Board of Education is the preferred option. A downtown option has also been discussed.
Since rescinding a recent tax increase following opposition, trustees must scale down the project or build a new library in phases. Current plans call for a $6.5 million project.
County Soccer Complex
The Daviess County Fiscal Court plans a $1.5 million soccer complex off Fairview Drive near the booming Highway 54 corridor. This is designed to meet the growing youth league needs and enhance our community’s capacity to accommodate tournaments.
No financing is expected. The County hopes to absorb the cost through a federal grant for drainage (a retention basin will be built in conjunction with the project), ODCH, Inc. wellness grant, and revenue from coal discovered when excavation occurred.
Riverfront Master Plan
The 2001 Riverfront Master Plan incorporated citizen input from more than 30 meetings, forums, and workshops. Two phases are complete: the RiverPark Center BB&T Patio expansion and the McConnell Plaza next to the Executive Inn Convention Center. The next phase, an expansion of Smother’s Park via a retaining wall, will dramatically increase green space for festivals, concerts, and many other gatherings. Future phases may include a playground, fountain, overlook, waterfall, walkway to English Park, marina, fishing dock, and more. The total project: $20-$30 million.
Officials are counting on federal grants to absorb the cost of future phases.