By Beccy Tanner
There may be a new/old look coming soon to the northwest corner of St. John’s Square.
A $45,000 matching grant awarded by the Kansas Creative Arts/Industries Commission – a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce—will portion some of that grant to St. John for use in building a Victorian-type gazebo.
The largest portion of the grant will go to Stafford to help them in helping the city construct a band shell.
A study last year determined both communities lack public outdoor spaces for special events.
Stafford’s project is called “Spaces Within The Places” and celebrates Stafford as the Gateway to Quivira.
With the annual Jubilee and Homecoming events held in the St. John Square, about $4,500 of the grant will go to St. John for construction of the gazebo and concrete pad.
In applying for the grant, Ryan Russell, director of Stafford County Economic Development wrote:
“These spaces will draw people together to hear music from all kinds of artists and bring young families together to enjoy the outdoors.”
The 10 x 16-foot gazebo in St. John will cost roughly $10,000 with $4,500 coming from the grant. The City of St. John will provide the remainder in funding along with the concrete pad and electrical wiring and sound for the gazebo.
Sturdi-Bilt near Hutchinson is constructing St. John’s gazebo.
It is expected to be delivered to St. John sometime in April or early May – in time for the Jubilee.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the square boasted a similar type of gazebo, and it was used as a forum for bands and special events. It eventually fell into disrepair and was torn down.
It is hoped the new gazebo will be a gathering place for people to once again come together.