DDA shuffles downtown design team
Glenwood Springs’ Downtown Development Authority has made some changes to the design team working on the next phase of public improvements in the downtown area in an effort to keep the project on track.
According to DDA board Chairman Charlie Willman, Aspen-based BlueGreen Inc. has been dropped and the project lead has been handed over to another consultant that was already part of the team, StudioINSITE out of Denver.
The design team also still includes Boundaries Unlimited of Glenwood Springs and Esse Design of Basalt.
“We got through the second community work session (on Feb. 26) and felt like we weren’t going in the same direction, and that there was a better way to get the project done on budget and on schedule,” Willman said Tuesday.
The DDA is working with the consultants to come up with schematic designs for several projects, including a pedestrian park on the north side of Seventh Street next to the train station, and parkway areas along Cooper Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets, and on both sides of the planned new Grand Avenue bridge.
The work will also identify a location for replacing the public restrooms on Seventh Street that will be removed when the new bridge is built.
Earlier this year, the DDA inked a $87,500 contract with BlueGreen to take the lead in developing the schematic designs. That contract will now be handed over to StudioINSITE, Willman said.
Esse Design is under a separate $20,000 to design a monument or “gateway” feature to demarcate downtown Glenwood Springs for motorists coming off of Interstate 70 onto Highway 82/Grand Avenue.
The schematic design process is now expected to wrap up sometime in mid- to late April, and the work will be presented to City Council, probably in May.
A decision will be made then whether to proceed to the full design phase, at an estimated cost of $250,000, for what would be about $2.5 million worth of public improvements aimed at improving the aesthetic appeal of downtown.
The latest round of design work comes on the heels of some $1 million worth of improvements to the downtown area last year, half of which went to expanding the sidewalk along the south side of Seventh Street for new outdoor dining areas.
“We’re just trying to use the citizens’ dollars the best way we can,” Willman said of the DDA, which is funded by a special tax on downtown properties within the DDA boundaries.
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