A 450-foot mural that celebrates Hilton Head Island’s landscape is in the works for the south end.
Instead of being on the side of the building or in a public park, this one is intended to be wrapped around the construction fencing that will be installed on Pope Avenue, according director of cultural affairs Jenn McEwen.
Pope Avenue construction, which has been the source of traffic jams several times in recent months, will give way to the Lowcountry Celebration Park by the end of next summer, according to Town of Hilton Head Island plans.
The nine-acre park will have a lagoon, children’s museum, massive playground and public gathering space, the plans show.
Until the park is complete though, the highly traversed area will be filled with construction materials and vehicles.
That’s where the mural comes in, McEwen said.
Designed by local artist Jessie Renew, McEwen said the mural is “really an attempt to mitigate complaints about construction sites” on the south end.
The park will be centrally located near Coligny Beach Park and the Coligny Plaza shopping center.
McEwen applied to the town’s design review board for the mural, and the committee will hear the plan on Tuesday.
The review board will have to approve the project before it is installed.
Since the project is in the early stages, McEwen said she doesn’t have an exact cost for the project yet. However, she said the design will be printed on vinyl wraps and repeated a few times over the 450-foot fence to lower the cost.
McEwen said this is the first time this type of public art project has been done on Hilton Head, although the island is no stranger to development.
“As development needs to occur, we can use art to mitigate some of the standard development pieces that aren’t as pleasing,” she said. “Everyone wants a beautiful new park, and it takes a little to get there.”
Pope Avenue park update
The Lowcountry Celebration park construction behind the Coligny Beach parking lot is scheduled to begin next week after a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, according to urban designer Chris Darnell.
The fencing around the site — where the mural would go — will likely go up in the next two weeks, Darnell added.
Paving and resurfacing on Pope Avenue was incorporated into the park project since the entrance requires an additional traffic signal at Pope Avenue and Lagoon Road. That roadwork started in September 2018, The Island Packet has previously reported.
An announcement last week from town engineers said the “traffic signal mast arms and activation of a new signal at Pope Avenue and Lagoon Road will not be completed this summer, but will be deferred until the Fall of 2019.”
Town officials regularly update the public on the road construction via email blasts and a Facebook group titled “Hilton Head Island — Coligny Area Park & Transportation Projects.”
Road construction is scheduled to “wrap up” for the summer after June 15, according to a recent post in the Facebook group.
“The anticipation is that there will be no or minimal interruption of traffic on Pope Avenue this summer,” Darnell said, adding that park construction will take place completely off Pope Avenue.