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(Stillwater, OK) — The City of Stillwater would like to thank BancFirst for supporting the effort to transform Block 34 into a welcoming community space that will help drive the continued revitalization of Stillwater’s downtown.
“Exciting things are happening in Stillwater and BancFirst’s generous donation of $50,000 toward Block 34 construction costs is an example of the kind of public/private partnerships we need for our city to continue making strides,” Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickle said.
Block 34 is a vacant two-acre tract that covers a full square block in the heart of Stillwater. Having a sizeable piece of property available for development in the midst of downtown is an unusual opportunity, and it’s one Stillwater’s leaders have been trying to make the most of for more than a decade.
During community discussions it became clear that many residents saw the most value in having Block 34 as an open public space rather than packing it with commercial development. Finding funds to develop the block as a community gathering place and venue for events was a hurdle that proved difficult to overcome without private investment.
Now BancFirst has joined Steve and Becky Irby, owners of Kicker, Stillwater-based audio company, and Simmons Bank in providing major gifts to make the Block 34 envisioned by community members a reality.
Kimberly Stemm, BancFirst Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Business Development, said Block 34 is exactly the kind of project the bank should be involved in because of its transformative potential and ability to bring people together.
“It’s important to invest in the community,” she said. “When you’re truly investing, you’re also igniting.” When completed, Block 34 will be lushly landscaped along the perimeter with an open lawn, places for children to play and adults to relax, a pavilion for events, and a performance stage with rigging to accommodate any type of production.
Design work is being finalized and construction is expected to begin this summer. While costs continue to rise, the Stillwater Community Center Foundation continues to raise funds for many of the special features planned on Block 34.
More information about Block 34 and opportunities to get involved can be found at: sccfriends.weebly.com.