EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) – Denny Spinner, executive director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, officially broke ground on the $3.1 million Commons project in downtown Washington on Thursday.

When completed, the multi-use facility will host concerts, civic events, farmer’s markets, celebrations, and extended gatherings of organizations and families. While 2024 is meant to be the opening it might be open for events around the end of 2023.

Mayor David Rhoads spoke on the impact that he plans for the Commons to have.

 “The Commons represents a critical project and joint effort that will positively impact the region for this generation and generations to come,” “We expect to see thousands of visitors and residents take part in a broad array of activities that will draw people to Washington, especially as we see continued growth in the coming microelectronics campus in the WestGate@Crane Technology Park.”

Tony Duncheon, president of the Daviess County Council, brought up how helpful this project will be to the community.

“For our city, county, and region to advance in a highly competitive environment, quality of place and quality of life issues must support workforce development and employee retention and attraction,” 

“When ROI launched the Ready Communities program five years ago, we hoped that it would empower communities to strategically plan and develop quality of place projects with the potential to transform the Uplands region,” said ROI President and CEO Tina Peterson.

“The Commons is a perfect example of what we hoped to achieve,” added Peterson. “While ROI’s foundational funding laid the groundwork for the Commons, Daviess County’s collaborative approach has given this project the vision, momentum, and energy to reach the finish line. It will be an asset for both the community and the region.”

Additional funding for event programming, amenities, and facility sustainability is now also being pursued through the Our Common Heritage Campaign.