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Founders Park, Grace Heritage reopen after renovations

The City and Preservation Georgetown will celebrate the reopening of Founders Park, at 814 S. Church St., and the Grace Heritage Center, 817 S. Main St., with consecutive ribbon-cutting ceremonies Dec. 13.

The free events will celebrate the recent completion of renovations at the adjacent facilities. Both projects were fully funded by the City of Georgetown.

“This investment by the City of Georgetown compliments the significant preservation and development efforts already completed and those that are underway in and around downtown,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said. “These projects further the City’s efforts to implement the Downtown Masterplan, helping to ensure Georgetown maintains its unique character, maximizes opportunities for thoughtful development, and enhances the quality of life for our residents.”

The mayor and representatives from Preservation Georgetown will help celebrate the reopening of Grace Heritage at 5:30 p.m. followed by the ribbon cutting at Founders Park at 6 p.m. The Grace Heritage reopening celebration will also include Preservation Georgetown’s annual presentation, as well as light refreshments.

Renovations at Founders Park were completed in early December and included expanded public seating, a new water fountain and trash cans, and a seat wall. All historical items in the park were repurposed, and a full irrigation system was installed. The $62,000 project was completed in 10 weeks by Smith Contracting.

The park is the site where Williamson County’s first commissioners met under an oak tree in 1848 to choose a location for the county seat.

The Grace Heritage Center, which was constructed in 1881, is the earliest surviving wood-framed church in Georgetown. Throughout the years, the building has been relocated twice and is currently located one block north of its original location. Over the years and because of the moves, much of the historic materials have been replaced. However, the configuration and most of the original structure remains.

The $418,000 renovation project took about two months to complete and included replacing the exterior siding and trim, cleaning out the belfry and replacing the roof on the central tower. The project also included adding netting to the belfry to prevent birds from nesting. The project also included foundation work, relocating the ramp from the side of the building to the back of the building, and replacing the front and back steps.

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