Design team tapped for Eagle River Park
EAGLE — The Eagle River Park — the new entryway amenity planned at the Eagle County Fairgrounds property — will be designed by a pair of valley firms.
After an extensive request for qualifications and request for proposal process, the Eagle Town Board voted Tuesday night to enter contract negotiations with Zehren & Associates, of Avon, and Alpine Engineering, of Edwards, to design the Eagle River Park.
“It came down to a team that had worked really well together,” said Eagle Mayor Anne McKibbin. “Things just gelled around Alpine and Zehren.”
The selection committee tasked with recommending a design firm for the project reviewed 17 statements of qualifications from applicants across Colorado and as far away as California. The committee invited seven teams to submit full proposals and ultimately interviewed four finalists before making the recommendation to hire the Alpine/Zehren team. The selection committee included McKibbin, Eagle Town Board member Andy Jessen, Eagle Town Manager John Schneiger, Eagle Town Planner Tom Boni, Eagle Town Engineer Kevin Sharkey, Eagle Public Works Director Dusty Walls, Eagle River Park Project Coordinator Caroline Bradford, Executive Director of Eagle County Facilities Clete Saunier, Eagle County Senior Planner Cliff Simonton, District Wildlife Manager for Colorado Parks & Wildlife Craig Wescoatt, Eagle resident Markian Feduschak, landscape architect Ric Fields and Eagle Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Jason Cowles.
McKibbin noted that the seven semifinalists and the four finalist firms all brought strong proposals to the town.
“Most of the members of the group had experience working with the various firms and that was really helpful,” she said.
She also noted that the price differential between the various finalists was within $2,000.
McKibbin cited Zehren and Alpine’s work on Ford Park in Vail, the firms’ local connections and their investment in the Eagle community as factors that weighed in their favor.
“We were really pleased with the level of response we received to our request for qualifications,” Boni said. “Narrowing those firms to the seven teams invited to submit proposals was a difficult process, as all the firms were highly qualified. The proposals we received were outstanding, and the presentations by the four finalists were very impressive. It was not an easy choice, but the Alpine/Zehren team stood out for a number of reasons. They seemed to have the greatest understanding of the site, their approach was the most comprehensive and most importantly to us, they have extensive experience involving the community in the design process.”
The town plans a community involvement process in the design of the Eagle River Park that will begin in February and run through July. The largest source of funding for the design and construction of both the in-stream features and the river park will come from the 0.5 percent sales tax approved by voters last April. Additional funding will come from grants, private donations and other sources.
“It is a great honor to be selected for this important project for the town of Eagle,” said Pedro Campos, landscape architect with Zehren & Associates. “We will approach the project with great zest, professionalism and creativity, and will draw upon our prior experience and the resources of our team to ensure a great outcome. It will be our priority to make certain the project reflects the needs and desires of the local community by conducting a meaningful and open engagement process and incorporating the community’s ideas into the park design. The project needs to be truly authentic to Eagle and all who will enjoy the park now and for generations to come.”
Scope of Work
The scope of work for the design includes up to 30 percent design of Chambers Park and design to construction of the Eagle River Park, from Chambers Park to the Eagle County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. The park will connect users to the whitewater play features in the river designed by S2O Design.
“In addition to ultimately connecting downtown Eagle to the river, the park will provide a new venue for river recreation, for outdoor gatherings and events and a new ‘front door’ for the town of Eagle,” added Gary Brooks, principal with Alpine Engineering. “We are also looking forward to exploring environmental education and promoting the health and well being of the Eagle River, and using the project as an opportunity to demonstrate responsible landscape design and storm water management.”