MetroParks seeks sponsors for Middletown River Center

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MetroParks seeks sponsors for Middletown River Center

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An artist’s rendition of the $1 million River Center facility in Middletown that will be constructed by MetroParks of Butler County. The new facility will be located in the city’s Bicentennial Commons park along the Great Miami River. CONTRIBUTED

For about $1.3 million, someone can have the naming rights for the new River Center recreational facility that is currently being designed.

MetroParks of Butler County released various sponsorship opportunities for the $1.2 million project on the Great Miami River in Middletown. The county-wide park district furthers its mission by offering sponsorship opportunities through monetary or in-kind support for programs, services or facilities.

Among the possible sponsorship possibilities include naming rights for the entire facility or for various components of the facility such as having the conference room, education office, the welcome center, or terrace, according to MetroParks. The approximate values for these naming rights range from $30,000 to $250,000.

MetroParks also offers other proposed sponsorship opportunities available and costs vary depending on size and complexity. Those items include a splash pad for $250,000; an observation deck for $50,000 to $250,000; interpretive displays for $5,000; a sculpture for about $25,000; benches for $2,000; table and chairs for $4,000; canoe/kayak racks for $4,000; bike racks for $500; bike lockers that store two bikes for $2,500; and a paver patio for about $50,000 or about $20 per square-foot.

The proposed Sponsorship Opportunities for the River Center were shared for informational purposes with the MetroParks Board of Park Commissioners at their meeting last month.

Kelly Barkley, senior manager of community relations for MetroParks, said, “the sponsorship opportunities included in the package are best estimate costs for the various items available to sponsor.”

She said the items and package do not require specific approval from the board as they were consistent with the board-approved Sponsorship Guidelines.

Barkley said the facility is now in the design phase and said MetroParks hopes to send out requests for proposals for the project in July. She said MetroParks is hoping to begin construction this fall with the project being completed during the second quarter of 2018.

The $1.2 million River Center is envisioned to as a hub for those who walk, run and bike along the regional recreational/bike trail that is managed by MetroParks. When that is completed, trail users will be able to access businesses in downtown Middletown. The planned facility will include public restrooms in addition to meeting and educational spaces. It will also serve as home base for the MetroParks volunteer Trail Ambassador Program and as a substation for MetroParks public safety staff.

Barkley said final design work is being completed on the $1.2 million River Center and financing options are currently being pursued. The project received a $1 million State Capital Improvement Project grant in February 2015.

“The way that the State Capital Budget projects work is that the entity completing the project must pay for the work, then submit documentation to be reimbursed for the expenses by the state,” she said in an email response. “Additionally, the state has not yet released the funds for the reimbursement. The project is moving forward as expected at this point.”

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