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UofL to receive $1.6 million for Freedom Park, Stansbury Park improvements

November 17th, 2008

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Freedom Park

The University of Louisville will receive $1.6 million from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and will use the money to, among other things, build a pedestrian crosswalk intersecting Second and Third streets and crossing through Freedom Park.

The UofL Foundation has provided a 20 percent match for the project. That $403,000 brings to $2 million the total cost of the project, which also includes landscaping and lighting.

The improvements are expected to enhance and encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic, said UofL President James Ramsey.

There’s more to the project, however, than these improvements.

“This is an investment in our educational environment that also helps preserve a piece of our heritage,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in announcing the investment.

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Arts and Sciences Dean Blaine Hudson, speaking, and Gov. Steve Beshear, announce funding and plans for Freedom Park.

UofL dedicated Freedom Park in January 2003. The triangular patch of grass is the site of The Playhouse, a UofL theater, and a city-owned late-19th-century monument to fallen Confederate soldiers.

The university’s original plan was to develop an educational component at the park to highlight Kentucky’s role in the evolution of civil rights. The new funding will support inclusion of an interpretive center with signs and public art to do that.

“We can’t wait to get started on this project,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “Freedom Park will become a much better representation of our diverse campus community and gives us a chance to showcase the power of the civil rights movement.”

UofL also will use the grant to expand bike pathways, pedestrian cardiopaths and traffic-calming measures at Stansbury Park, a short distance south of Freedom Park on Third Street.

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