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City OKs design contract for arts, cultural center, trailhead

The city has contracted with an architectural firm to revitalize the former Chamber of Commerce building beside Father Marquette Park, as well as a four-season trailhead. (Courtesy photo)

MARQUETTE — On Monday night, the Marquette City Commission unanimously approved a professional services contract with Locus Architecture of Minneapolis, to design the Marquette Cultural Center and Trailhead.

Locus Architecture’s bid was in the amount of $128,570.

Other bids submitted were from M1DTW Architects of Detroit for $165,600; Lappanen+Anker Arquitectura for $146,100; and Myefski Architects of Marquette for $149,800.

Design for this project is funded mostly through reimbursable grants, including a Michigan Economic Development Corporation Revitalization and Placemaking grant and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Spark grant.

The city is revitalizing the former Chamber of Commerce building beside Father Marquette Park as well as a four-season trailhead for the Cultural Trail, which also connects to several other trail systems such as the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. The surrounding two park spaces, Father Marquette Park and Lions Lakeside Park, will be reimagined into a single cohesive park space with improved accessibility, green infrastructure and trailhead site design, according to City Manger Karen Kovacs.

Also at the meeting, Marquette Arts and Culture Manager Tiina Morin gave a presentation on the state of plans for the Cultural Trail.

Morin said the city’s arts and culture office has grown from a planning arm to a resource hub over the past several years.

“The vision for the Cultural Trail has never been about checking boxes, but about building alliances. We’re still learning to work across the city departments and with all our stakeholders,” she said.

“Arts and Culture has spent hundreds of hours,” Morin said, “in listening sessions. The shoreline is a spine connecting the city’s natural assets and landmarks. Our vision is to reveal and enhance what already exists here from the Carp River to Presque Isle along a cultural corridor that tells stories about our past, present and future.”

Morin said the project is gaining momentum in 2024. Eight sites have been identified as story markers, which may eventually be expanded to 14 sites based on community feedback.

One of the planned projects, based on feedback, Morin said will be to create a more intimate gathering space within Mattson Park. Feedback revealed that people find the park is large and hard to navigate. The smaller gathering area will not intrude into the festival grounds.

Citizens may go to the website at www.mqtcompass.com for information and updates on the Cultural Trail project.

Vickie Fee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 542. Her email address is vfee@miningjournal.net.

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