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Arts

St. Louis County considering $2 million for Laumeier Sculpture Park

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 10, 2013 - On Thursday morning, the board and friends of Laumeier Sculpture Park met with St. Louis County and asked for $2 million for Laumeier's capital campaign. 

The proposal doesn't yet have any paperwork or a term sheet, said Mike Jones, senior policy adviser to County Executive Charles Dooley. 

"I would say a request was favorably received," Jones said on Friday afternoon.

The capital campaign to raise at least $10 million was started in 2009, but was put on hold after St. Louis County tightened its own belt. Laumeier, along with many other St. Louis area parks, could be getting some relief this year.

Prop P, which passed in the city of St. Louis by 67.2 percent and St. Louis County by 52.75 percent of the vote, will increase taxes and raise about $31 million a year for several projects, including the Arch grounds, as well as money for area parks. 

Laumeier's capital campaign is working to raise money for the renovation of the Park House and the building of a new exhibition hall. 

The capital campaign has had to start and stop over the last few years with the economy, according to people familiar with the project who spoke on background.

Steve Stogel, principal developer of DFC Group, said on Thursday that it's too early to talk about exactly what will happen when, or if Laumeier will even get the funding this year.

"Will it happen for sure?" he said. "I can't tell you because I don't know."

However, Jones said the county will make a decision soon. "This is not going to take a long time to come to a decision," he said.

The project was worthy of support, he said, "but we haven't gotten to yes."

Laumeier officers did not return calls for comment.

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