There was a small wingding at Dallas City Hall this afternoon at which it was announced that the Rotary Club of Dallas is kicking in $500,000 for the under-construction Woodall Rodgers Deck Park. For its donation, the Rotary International logo will be etched into the so-called Learning Tree Deck in the 15,000-square foot Children's Garden near St. Paul (No. 2 on the site plan). And with today's announcement, says Park spokesperson Joanna Singleton, the foundation is now a little bit closer to raising the $110 million needed for the entirety of the park's amenities and three years' worth of operations and maintenance. There remains a $16-million gap.
But sooner than later, the construction site will begin to look more like a park: The final batch of beams will be installed at 5 a.m. Sunday, meaning the Woodall Rodgers canyon running beneath the park will finally be fully covered. And within the next three, four weeks, says Singleton, the first batch of trees will be put into place, their arrival heralded with no small amount of fanfare; do stay tuned. "And we should see dirt within the same time frame," she says, "maybe even sooner than that."
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Following that, she says, "We should have a good solid handful of announcements over the next two months," everything from construction updates to donation tallies to "restaurant news on the horizon -- kind of the distant horizon, but the horizon." And come January, she adds, there should be an announcement made concerning some of the first events scheduled to take place when the park opens sometime in the fall of 2012 -- October, they hope, fingers and toes crossed. The restaurant, incidentally, will open after that, though nothing will been penciled in till the operator's announced.