- Associated Press - Monday, October 12, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - The improvements to Cleveland’s Public Square are on track to be completed by the time the city hosts the Republican National Convention, the head of a nonprofit civic organization overseeing improvements said.

The key parts are taking shape after crews worked double shifts during the summer to take advantage of good weather before winter, The Plain Dealer (https://bit.ly/1jqYi8w ) reported.

Primary underground utilities and dozens of new trees are in place and workers are installing molded concrete benches and planter retaining walls that will form sleek arcs from the ground.

Jeremy Paris, executive director of the Group Plan Commission, said Tuesday the renovation should be completed by July 2016.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Group Plan Commission revealed last week the cost of the project rose from $32 million to $37 million.

Paris and Deb Janik, the senior vice president for real estate and business development at the partnership, said that of the $5 million increase, $2.7 million is a contingency in case work must be accelerated to compensate for bad weather or problems.

The commission and the Greater Cleveland Partnership are seeking $3.5 million of the $5 million gap in funding from the state, and plan to seek the rest from private sources.

Paris and Janik said it’s not certain all of the money needed for contingencies would be spent; any savings would be applied to a fund for ongoing maintenance and programming at the square.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, https://www.cleveland.com


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