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Time for change
by Garrett Valenzuela
Sep 25, 2012 | 2817 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- The famed Victorian Plaza clock will be relocated in a renovation project beginning in October that will provide more free space for special events happening on Victorian Square. The renovations were approved by Sparks City Council on Monday afternoon.
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- The famed Victorian Plaza clock will be relocated in a renovation project beginning in October that will provide more free space for special events happening on Victorian Square. The renovations were approved by Sparks City Council on Monday afternoon.
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SPARKS -- Summer events in Sparks will have a little competition on Victorian Plaza as the venue will receive a facelift to help cater to winter events.

The Sparks City Council voted Monday to approve funds and award a construction contract to Reno Tahoe Construction Inc. to make renovations to Victorian Plaza. Funds of more than $320,000 will be used to make the plaza better suited for year-round events, including electrical upgrades for sound stage setup and preliminary construction for an ice rink.

The plaza clock will be relocated to the south end as part of the renovations, along with the removal of the existing electrical kiosk that will be relocated and upgraded to “new above grade meter pedestals with supply panels,” according to contract documents between the City of Sparks and Reno Tahoe Construction.

City of Sparks Media Relations Manager Adam Mayberry said the planned renovations are only Phase One of a long-term project for Victorian Plaza designed to not only bring in more winter events, but make the plaza a better destination for year-round events.

“It is important to know this is only Phase One of the project and Phase Two is long term and will take some time,” Mayberry said. “It will be costly and we don’t have the money for all of it now but while we are making improvements we are going to put the utilities in. We have the money to do some of the work so we will lay the infrastructure and do some of the work so that we can bring more to the events of the future.”

The underground infrastructure of the ice rink will cost about $80,000 and the electrical services for the 600-amp ice rink will cost about $22,000. Reno Tahoe Construction will also be replacing decorative concrete, removing grass turf area and removing some planters and lighting to make more space for events.

Construction is scheduled to begin in October and the utility and infrastructure work will be finished in early 2013, according to city officials. Mayberry said when the city does begin looking into Phase Two, the major developments will bring even more amenities to the plaza.

“The ice rink and maybe a permanent shade or canopy are some of the things we look into in the future as more of a capital improvements plan,” he said. “This will open space for unrestricted use of the plaza as it becomes more of the core of the event venue for Victorian Square. We are trying to make a region where there is always something going on around the community and we haven’t really had the facilities to provide a real hub where we can promote a real destination to put on special events.”

In the City of Sparks initiative to offer more events and bring more community and tourist interaction to downtown Sparks, Mayberry said the space-freeing project at Victorian Plaza is just one more way the city will improve collaboration with event producers and the community.

“The city has embarked on abranding campaign, ‘Its Happening Here’ meaning there is always something going on,” Mayberry said, “And for Victorian Square it is the living room for Sparks, for the this community and so it is important that we provide a solid functional, serviceable venue core for downtown.”

---Roundup of other Sparks City Council agenda items

-The Sparks City Council approved an exclusive negotiating agreement between the City of Sparks, the city’s Redevelopment Agency, and AED Investments for the redevelopment of a 10-acre parcel owned by the city’s Redevelopment Agency located east of Marina Gateway Drive between Prater Way and Lincoln Way.

-According to Mayberry, AED would develop facilities that provide specialized service to the elderly, such as respiratory and memory care, behavior, orthopedic, transitory and other skilled care. The development would create 150-300 mostly full-time jobs. Under the agreement, AED will have six months to prepare a development proposal.
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