The timeline to open a park celebrating Astoria’s Nordic heritage has been extended another year.
The Nordic Heritage Park Committee had hoped to complete the new park at Peoples Park off Marine Drive by June, around the time of the annual Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. The committee now hopes to open the park in June 2021.
The committee expanded its budget in order to hire a firm to assist with putting the project out for bid and handling legal and technical details between the architect, engineers and city staff. As a result, they will have to take more time to raise funds, said Janet Bowler, vice chairwoman for the Nordic Heritage Park Committee.
“We made the decision that we would not start the project until all the fundraising was in place,” Bowler explained.
Under the new schedule, the park committee hopes to hire a construction manager this fall and begin prefabrication of isolated project components in order to have them ready before construction begins.
Park construction is anticipated to go out to bid in November 2020, if fundraising is complete, with construction of the park to begin in the spring of 2021.
A tentative dedication of the park is planned for June 16, 2021.
The Nordic Heritage Park Committee has already raised around half a million dollars and needs just over $648,000 in additional funds for the park. According to Bowler, the group is working on several big grants that appear to be promising.
The park also received a polished large granite slab valued at $12,000 from a former Astoria resident, Stephen Dean, of Pasco, Washington. The slab arrived in Astoria on Friday and is destined be engaged and set at the main entrance sign to the park.
Equipment and services to unload the granite and move it into storage were donated by Astoria Wrecking and Recycling. Warehouse space was donated by Carole Lyngstad.
When fundraising for the Astoria Nordic Heritage Park is complete, the granite will be installed at the park.