June 20, 2008

Great Park Programs Move Forward

IRVINE, Calif., June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orange County Great Park Corporation Board today moved several priority Park Programs into the next phase of the planning process.

Programs moving forward are: Agriculture and Food; Arts and Culture Exhibition Space; Aviation Museum; Cultural Terrace; Fire Museum; Sports Park and Visitors Center. Additional programs advanced, subject to identifying potential partners, include: Amphitheatre; Botanical Garden; Library; Multi-Cultural Center; National Archives and Water Science Park.

The Center for Community Organizations and the Demonstration Garden will proceed when a memorandum of understanding with funding partners are negotiated.

Study of the Equestrian Center will take place in the future. The Orangewood Academy program study was suspended at the request of the Orangewood Foundation.

"Development of the Great Park continues to move forward as we refine this complex planning and design process," said Larry Agran, Chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation Board. "This next phase of planning will identify and resolve issues related to program funding, land use compatibility, building and facilities requirements, and entitlement issues."

The board approved a not-to-exceed budget of $1,817,000 for the feasibility analysis. The Board also directed staff to identify potential funding partners and negotiate agreements to fund these studies.

Outlined below are the Park Programs now moving to the next level of analysis and feasibility review:

               Park Programs: Next Phase Feasibility Analysis    Agriculture and Food              The Agriculture and Food Program offers                                     many avenues for park patrons to learn,                                     experience and taste a piece of Orange                                     County history. The program would                                     bring together Orange County local                                     farmers and food banks to participate in                                     a wholesale community production farm                                     that would also provide produce to local                                     disadvantaged communities through food                                     banks. Level 2 Feasibility will study                                     the Preview Farm, the food Exchange                                     Program, the Tree Farm Facility, and                                     Interim Farm Land Availability and                                     Schedule.    Amphitheatre                      An Amphitheatre at the Great Park is                                     envisioned as a major venue for music                                     and theatrical performances for diverse                                     audiences. Initial study revealed a                                     variety of types of amphitheatres that                                     could be considered in the Great Park.                                     As part of Level 2 analysis, a "Cultural                                     Terrace Study" will be conducted to                                     focus on land use, design and                                     programming issues related to an                                     amphitheatre. It will also provide an                                     analysis of the suitability of various                                     types of amphitheatres and                                     recommendations for further                                     consideration.    Arts and Culture Exhibition       The Art and Cultural Exhibition space     Space                           is conceived as places where various                                     artistic disciplines and expressions can                                     be exhibited. The implementation of                                     this proposed program would result in a                                     new "Art Agenda" that supports public                                     space devoted to art and culture.  This                                     program would bring art and culture to                                     new and existing audiences.    Aviation Museum                   The Aviation Museum would emphasize the                                     importance of the military history on                                     this land, the people who made that                                     history, and the importance of the                                     infrastructure inherited from the El                                     Toro Marine Airbase.  The museum would                                     include an outdoor installation of                                     military aircraft and equipment.    Botanic Garden                    The Great Park Botanic Garden will                                     actively engage visitors, and encourage                                     them to see the landscape in a new way                                     and to imagine their role in creating a                                     healthy, sustainable lifestyle for                                     themselves and their communities based                                     on the natural habitat models around                                     them.    Center for Community              The Center for Community Organizations    Organizations                    is a multi-tenant center for public                                     agencies and non-profits, consisting of                                     a building or campus where mutual                                     location of organization offices,                                     convening spaces and incubation work                                     increase interaction and mission                                     achievement.    Demonstration Garden              As a precursor to the Botanical Garden,                                     the Demonstration Garden will be source                                     of inspiration that will be integral to                                     making the Great Park a unique place at                                     the local, regional, national and                                     international levels.    Equestrian Center                 An equestrian center at the Great Park                                     is envisioned as a facility that could                                     serve both equestrians and entertainment                                     programs. Staff is recommending that                                     study of the Equestrian Center Program                                     be deferred to a future time.    Fire Museum                       The California Fire Museum will                                     memorialize the achievements and                                     sacrifices of "fire fighters" in Orange                                     County and throughout California over                                     nearly 150 years. The facility is                                     envisioned as a full service                                     museum to include vintage fire fighting                                     vehicles/trucks/equipment, an archive                                     and library, an education center to                                     teach history and current fire                                     prevention/safety methods.    Library                           The Library would provide research and                                     library resources for the Great Park and                                     the surrounding region. A "Cultural                                     Terrace Study" will be conducted that                                     would include the land use, design and                                     programming issues related to a library                                     and other Cultural Terrace uses, and                                     will provide an analysis of the library                                     and provide recommendations for further                                     consideration.    Multi-Cultural Center             The Multi-Cultural Center at the Orange                                     County Great Park is envisioned to be a                                     place of diverse expression, learning                                     and dialogue for the entire region. The                                     Center will aspire to build                                     understanding, promote celebration of                                     the diversity of today's American                                     culture and to offer the public expanded                                     opportunities for civic dialogue and                                     resolution of emerging issues.    National Archives                 The National Archives envisions the                                     construction and lease of a 60,000                                     square feet facility that would house                                     and display the National Archives                                     regional collection treasures that are                                     most interesting or often used, as well                                     as other records and artifacts "on                                     loan" from the Archives' Washington,                                     D.C. headquarters, other regional                                     archives, and the twelve Presidential                                     Libraries they manage. They also hope to                                     collaborate and partner with the Orange                                     County Clerk-Recorder's Orange County                                     Archives to showcase displays and                                     exhibits of county significance at the                                     facility.    Sports Park                       A recent three-day planning session                                     (called a Charette) revealed a                                     comprehensive Sports Park Plan that                                     built on an earlier plan.  The Level 2                                     Feasibility Study will focus on the                                     Sports Park as a tournament destination                                     facility,  it's integration with the                                     Great Park overall, the connection                                     between the Sports Park and Lifelong                                     Learning District, and soccer as a key                                     program element.    Visitor Center                    The Great Park Visitor Center is a                                     facility to orient and educate visitors                                     on the Park's programs and features,                                     the educational opportunities,                                     sustainability and ecological programs                                     and the cultural and social dimensions.    Water Science Park                A Water Science Park at the Great Park                                     I envisioned as a facility that respects                                     the physical scale, the architectural                                     and visual balance of the Park,                                     incorporating the latest principles of                                     sustainability in its design operations                                     and offers a substantive recreation                                     component.     The Level 2 Feasibility Study will provide additional decision making   information to the Board including the location of the Program within the   Park; any planning building and facilities requirements; any changes in   zoning, master plan modifications or other entitlement issues; and a   business plan for the program.     

The Orange County Great Park, which is almost twice the size of New York City's Central Park, will be a major metropolitan park and the focal point of the redevelopment of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro. The Great Park will include extensive natural areas and open space in addition to recreational and cultural uses.

For more information, please go to http://www.ocgp.org/.

Orange County Great Park

CONTACT: Marsha Burgess, +1-949-724-7404, for Orange County Great ParkCorporation

Web site: http://www.ocgp.org/