Cd'A City Council awards McEuen contract

Miller Stauffer Architects to draft new look for downtown park

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COEUR d'ALENE - They call them Team McEuen.

That's the name given to the group of consultants who will complete the final plan for the reconstruction of McEuen Field, the Third Street Marina and Front Avenue.

A $125,000 contract was awarded Tuesday by Coeur d'Alene City Council members to Miller Stauffer Architects, who will lead a team of consultants as they draft a new look for McEuen Field and its surrounding areas.

"I'm hoping to have all that done within a six-month period," said city Parks Director Doug Eastwood.

Discussions about restructuring the treasured downtown park have taken place for more than a decade.

This is the first actual movement toward devising a plan that will be carried out.

The city and its urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., are partnering on the expense of the contract with LCDC paying $100,000 and the city providing $25,000 from its parking lot fund.

The contract was awarded through a competitive bid process begun in April, and requires Miller Stauffer and Team McEuen to position activities that could take place in the park while making "an easy, or seamless, transition from the surrounding areas into the park."

Team McEuen is also comprised of Bernardo Wills Architects, Welch-Comer Engineers and other specialty consultants as needed.

Information, plans, data and community input gathered previously will be used to create a starting point, and public feedback will continue to help drive the project.

"One of the things they (Team McEuen) will put together right away is a schedule of public information meetings," Eastwood said.

The project is also being guided by an ad-hoc committee of 21 people representing a broad range of people from the community, Eastwood said.

Bike and pedestrian paths through the area will be a consideration, as will incorporation of the North Idaho Centennial Trail.

A water conservation system, consistent with the plan for the rest of the city's parks will be put in place, including a lake water pumping station for irrigating the site.

A camera will likely be placed in one of the four osprey nests that now sit atop the ball field light poles.

According to the planning project contract, the condition of the marina area will be addressed, and public and possibly commercial uses will be considered.

At the most recent public meeting regarding McEuen Field held last spring, 75 members of the public attended and were asked for ideas for the marina area.

Top answers were: Tennis, amphitheater or outdoor performance space, expand the park to the waterfront, or use it for open space or a lawn area.

Parking will be another major consideration that could include below grade parking, or possibly parking below the street level.

"We're asking them to explore those ideas, to look at what's the most practical and cost-effective, not just for McEuen, but for the downtown parking area as well," Eastwood said.

As the plans are created, Eastwood said LCDC, the City Council and the Parks and Rec Commission will be meeting along the way, with the public invited at every step.

Once the final plan is completed, and approved by the City Council, an itemized estimate of the probable cost for the entire project will be put together.

Team McEuen will then prepare an estimate to create the design and construction documents, and the project could go out for bid.

"A place-making opportunity, that's the word that's been used," Eastwood said. "This is a terrific opportunity to turn this into a place-making destination location."

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