Depot Park took another step closer toward becoming a reality on Tuesday when the Oklahoma Tourism and Recognition Department awarded a $600,000 grant to be used in its construction. This is the maximum amount possible for the grant and must be matched by funds raised by Ardmore Main Street Authority.
Todd Yeager, chair of the AMSA board of trustees, said the matching funds are already in place, but additional funds still need to be raised.
“We have our part of the match either in cash commitments or additional commitments that are coming in, so we’re good to go on that,” Yeager said. “Fundraising will now move into the next stage.”
Yeager said they are currently working on a public campaign that will encourage and easily allow the citizens of Ardmore to make smaller personal donations as well as larger donations from organizations and foundations.

In order to be eligible for the grant, AMSA deeded the park over to the City of Ardmore, so a city official will need to sign off on the grant, and Yeager added there are still several other pieces that need to fall into place before work begins.
“I’m sure there will be steps that we have to go through as it’s a federal grant we’re receiving. Then we will go to the public bid and go through that entire process,” Yeager said. “It’s still a ways from ever actually turning a piece of dirt in the park itself, but we are miles ahead with the approval of the grant.”
Yeager said the work that is already underway comes as a part of the second phase of the streetscape project.
“They have started scraping the parking lot up on the north end of Depot Park, and I’ve noticed there’s some electrical conduit that has come up around the train and some trenching that has been done because the plaza gets done in this part of the project as well,” Yeager said.
Yeager said once this phase is complete the plaza around the train and the parking lot on the north end will be completed. The south end parking will be a part of the Depot Park Project. This means parking space will be available for any events scheduled at the Santa Fe Depot.