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Leesburg Council Appropriates $14K For Garage Mural

© Leesburg Today - 06/26/2015

Although a design has yet to be finalized, the Leesburg Town Council on Tuesday night appropriated the final $14,000 needed to complete the town parking garage mural project. The money will come entirely from private donations.

The action moved the project, first conceived in 2008, closer to fruition. However, construction of the artwork remains more than a year away. And if the money can not be generated, the project will die altogether.

Once the money is collected, a final design of the mural project will be created.

The mural effort is spearheaded by the Leesburg Commission on Public Art, which raised the money needed to complete funding for the contract with Vermont-based Northland Design and Construction Inc. The council awarded the contract and an initial $5,000 payment last year.

The commission recommended the contract with Northland's Russ Bennett after the Town Council in 2013 rejected an earlier mural designed by a Denver artist. Once the donation money is generated, Bennett will design a mural using a collection of almost 4,000 tiles, each contributed by a member of the public. Under the concept, residents could purchase and paint individual tiles to be displayed for $10 each.

Leesburg Senior Engineer and liaison to the Leesburg Commission on Public Art Anne Geiger said she hopes tiles will be ready to paint during the Leesburg Fine Arts Festival in September 2016.

She said she's looking forward to seeing the project's progress.

""It's been a very long process,"" Geiger said.

Once the town fully awards Bennett's contract, which totals $15,000 plus additional expenses, he will develop final design plans. $5,000 has already been donated by the Friends of Leesburg Public Arts.

His final design will require Town Council approval.

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