Page 6 - OCHS History Magazine Summer 2014
P. 6
Steigerwald started his career in Kissimmee in the lakefront into a community focal point while 1993, as an entry level Urban Planner. When providing necessary infrastructure to develop he moved to Osceola County, Kissimmee had a the buildings and locations surrounding the park. population of 32,000. As of 2012, that number The city broke ground on the $25 million project had jumped to just under 62,000. Steigerwald in 2009, and the project is approaching its fnal estimates that the county population will double phases of construction. again over the next 20 years, and said, “Our community has grown so quickly these past few Steigerwald said the main goal of the Lakefront decades. If we don’t preserve our history, we Revitalization is to bring the atmosphere of our lose our identity.” Steigerwald said this was the 1800s downtown area “across the railroad tracks” thinking behind the Kissimmee Lakefront Park and into the lakefront park. His favorite part of the Revitalization Project. project is the already completed Ruby Plaza. Community is important to the city manager, “There hasn’t been a true community center in and he’s kept it in mind in his 20 years in a long time, and I think Ruby Plaza will become development in Osceola County. Steigerwald said that place for Kissimmee,” Steigerwald said. the community was instrumental in the planning process for the Lakefront Park Revitalization As the community continues to grow, Steigerwald Project; more than 300 citizens participated by hopes that Downtown Kissimmee will grow attending a series of community meetings hosted toward the lakefront, and that the historic features by the Parks and Recreation and Development that make the city unique will contribute to a good Services Departments in 2006. These meetings quality of life for citizens for generations to come. were a place for citizens and public offcials to share ideas for the park improvements. “When I step into Downtown Kissimmee, I know I’m stepping into a downtown that’s been here After taking the wishes of Kissimmee’s citizens since the 1800s. That’s part of our coolness as a into consideration, the city hired a design team city, and it’s worth preserving,” he said. for the park with the intention of transforming OCHS HISTORY MAGAZINE | 7
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