Morrison Foundation, Alumni, Collaborate on Gift
BOISE – The man whose name is associated with some of the largest dam projects in the world will soon be recognized for his legacy through contributions to a much smaller, but highly anticipated project. A diversion dam being rebuilt for The Boise River Recreation Park will be named the Harry W. Morrison Dam, recognizing donations from the Harry W. Morrison Foundation and retirees of the Morrison Knudsen Co.
Late last year, the Foundation gave an initial $50,000 to the project. Former MK employees subsequently pledged to match an additional $100,000 from the Foundation. The total combined donation will be $250,000 to name the signature feature of the Boise River Recreation Park.
Since February, more than 60 former MK employees have rallied to raise the first $50,000 in contributions toward the match, months before the year-end deadline. Organizers have until the end of 2012 to meet the second half of the match.
The MK retirees are eager to demonstrate their sense of pride in their company and the community , said Tony Sandor, a retired MK engineer. "They’re really proud of what they consider a great Boise company that was responsible for huge civil engineering projects all over the world.”
Sandor says Harry Morrison was highly regarded because of his direct involvement in many of the company projects. ”Harry Morrison was a hands-on construction guy who visited the construction sites and got to know people on the site,” Sandor said. "After he passed, Velma Morrison carried on that tradition.
Organizers have successfully raised nearly $4 million to date for the park, with gifts of $1.7 million from the JA and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and $1.6 million from the City of Boise, plus smaller gifts from a number of organizations and individuals.
This fall, construction crews will replace the aging Thurman Mill diversion with the new dam, which includes adjustable panels to create waves of varying sizes year round. Additional park amenities will include in-river drops, chutes and boulder obstacles as well as riverbank seating areas and Greenbelt improvements.
Downstream features will be developed in conjunction with the design of the adjacent Esther Simplot Park, for which the Simplot Foundation has pledged $10 million.
Located on the Boise River between Main Street and Veterans Memorial Park west of downtown, the river park is expected to fuel economic development and provide a world-class recreational experience in the heart of Boise. The project will also improve the fish habitat and riparian area in a section of river that was channelized during the mid-1900s.