Festival Park, which now hosts movies and concerts, will nearly double in size and boast a rock water wall, canopy bridge and Christmas tree plaza among other new features if the $4.3 million project is approved by Castle Rock Town Council.
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On Oct. 20, the town council unanimously approved the redesign presented by Design Workshop of Denver and directed staff to bring back to council a more direct financial package to move forward.
Funding has not yet been approved and will be discussed by council in the near future.
“I think it's going to be a huge driver to bring people downtown and also bring in some economic development,” Mayor Paul Donahue said. “I was not a big fan of the redesign when we started it a couple years ago, but I'm really encouraged to see the things that are being planned. I overwhelmingly support this.”
The proposed redesign includes expanding the current park space and adding elements such as a rock water wall and splash play area, a Christmas tree plaza, a bike corral, canopy perches, streamside picnic areas, a canopy bridge, children's play areas, a fire pit, a community pavilion, extensions to the lawn, an outdoor classroom, a Wi-Fi zone and a climbing wall. The design also incorporates many connections to interact with Plum Creek, which the design firm said residents asked for in a community survey.
“I would like to make sure we have consideration of durability of construction since we do have floods historically that go through the site,” Councilman George Teal said, adding his concerns about lowering structures to creek level. “I think the design elements we've seen tonight are game changers…. I think it will make people get out of their houses and be in public spaces together.”
The project was broken down into two phases by Design Workshop, the first of which would cost an estimated $3.2 million and begin construction as early as March with an estimated completion of January 2017. Phase two, which is estimated to be constructed between February and November 2017, is estimated to cost slightly more than $1 million. This would put the total project cost at about $4.3 million, approximately $67.52 per square foot.
Although all councilmembers were impressed with the presentation, some concerns besides the potential for flooding were raised.
Donahue noted the larger lawn would require more water to maintain it.
Another issue focused on safety — more visitors would also increase traffic and parking.
“I think some of the elements are pretty outstanding, but as we continue to develop downtown, I'm concerned about the safety aspect,” Councilman Chip Wilson said, adding that he believes the train tracks near the park are not safe.
“We continue to preach how awesome our downtown is, but there's an aspect that's missing,” Wilson continued. “There's a safety issue and it's not just the residents of Craig and Gould.”
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