The Pullen Park and Arts Center Improvement project is a multi-purpose construction project that includes the expansion of Pullen Arts Center and a renewal of the North Pullen Park campus to address the need for additional accessible parking, and better connect Theatre in the Park, Pullen Arts Center, the Gregg Museum, ballfields and park, and the surrounding neighborhoods. Additionally, Public Utilities has worked with Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources to replace aging sewer lines within the park boundary.
Pullen Arts Center, located in North Pullen Park, is an arts education facility for beginning to advanced artists of all ages that provides quality instruction, programming, gallery exhibitions, and studio access. It is located in the heart of North Pullen Park. The renovation and expansion of the Arts Center have provided an opportunity to update the campus to connect the newly opened Gregg Museum, Theatre in the Park, other amenities in the park and the surrounding neighborhoods. These site improvements will happen simultaneously with the renovation of the Arts Center and the Pullen Park Sanitary Sewer Improvements, a COR Public Utilities project.
Funding of $6 million has been appropriated to the Arts Center and Park Site Improvement project, allocated from the 2014 Parks Bond Referendum, for the renovation and expansion of this unique art facility, increasing accessibility and connection. A conceptual study was conducted from summer 2015 through spring 2016 to develop a preliminary plan that incorporates the vision of the 2001 Pullen Park Master Plan and integrates and balances input from stakeholders, patrons and the general public. The conceptual plan was reviewed and approved by the City Council in June 2016. Subsequently the project team continued the public participation process to develop the schematic design, which was approved by City Council in February 2017. Although the project was permitted and publicly bid for construction in an extremely volatile construction market, a fair and reasonable bid was awarded by City Council in May 2019 to Focus Design Builders LLC. The contractor received formal notice to proceed with the renovation project on July 15, 2019.
The first steps of the Pullen Art renovation project include the installation of tree protection and a silt fence, followed by demolition and removal of trees. Through careful and thoughtful design, only about 3% of the total of trees in the Park (one hundred five trees) will be removed to renovate the art center and make the necessary associated site improvements including trenching for stormwater. Once the project is completed trees will be replanted with an eye towards placing the right tree in the right place in an effort to minimize future infrastructure impacts and sustaining the legacy of the Pullen Park landscape.
Phase 1: Conceptual Study
This phase will take about a year. Key steps include:
- Selection of a design consultant (completed). Clearscapes Architecture awarded.
- Situational assessment and establishment of a citizen planning committee.
- Conceptual study during which the consultant will assess the current building and site and recommend a design concept.
- Presentation of the conceptual plan to the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board and City Council for approval.
Phase 2: Design and Implementation
This phase will take about 2.5 years, including about one year for design and permitting and about 18 months for construction. It will require the hiring of design and construction contractors. Key steps include:
- Development of schematic design based on the conceptual plan.
- Public engagement and input on the schematic design.
- Presentation of the schematic plan to the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board and City Council for approval.
- Completion of construction documents and permitting.
- Bidding and construction.
- Project Lead:
Office of Raleigh Arts, Clearscapes, Architect, Site Collaborative, Landscape Architect, Focus Design Builders, General Contractor