Take a stroll around the Jasper Courthouse Square and you will see revitalization in action.
On one corner is a fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs, perfect for a fall evening gathering with friends. Another corner has a group of large swings perfect for soaking up the sun and the scenery of the historic downtown area. Outside of the Astra Theater, you will find platform seating paired with pots of fresh flowers and a colorful new alley mural project by the city and the IU Center for Rural Engagement. New sidewalks and trees along the resurfaced streets rejuvenate the downtown area in the heart of this Indiana Uplands community.
For years the City of Jasper has worked to develop a plan for the replacement of the courthouse square infrastructure and to revitalize the downtown area. Important work is happening below ground, too. Nearly $250,000 in READI funding is being used to help replace waterlines over 100 years old — increasing the water quality, capacity, and pressure so more businesses and residents in the area have water access.
The entire project will be completed in two phases with the final phase estimated to be done by Fall 2024. The second phase of the project includes extending the courthouse square improvements to nearby streets. Construction is ongoing now for a gathering space on the fourth corner of the square and will be done soon. A ribbon cutting for the new downtown square is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 13 beginning at 5 p.m. with a celebration featuring live music, food, and games to follow.
Bringing residents and visitors back to the heart of the community to enjoy public spaces filled with arts and culture is the goal of this revitalization project, according to the city’s application for READI funding.
When thinking about the future of the city, officials recognized building a “healthy, vibrant, and thriving downtown” is an important first step to growing their community and attracting new talent to the city to support employers and entrepreneurs looking to expand and locate in Jasper. A thriving downtown also helps to build pride in Jasper while also supporting current businesses by bringing more potential customers to the area.
“By investing in its downtown, the City of Jasper hopes to attract residents, retain talent, and celebrate diversity within the region,” states an update from the city.
To monitor updates on the project visit the City of Jasper’s website.
Take a look at the revitalization progress!