Bainbridge seeks waterfront designers

Bainbridge Island has started its search for qualified designers to revamp Waterfront Park.

By the end of August, the city plans to have a design team on board to help with the redevelopment of the park.

At a recent city council meeting, Planning Director Katherine Cook presented the city’s “request for qualification” for prospective dock and shoreline designers. Firms interested in beautifying the island’s Waterfront Park must submit a proposal by July 15.

The designs for the waterfront will have to come later; right now, the city is merely searching for those who have experience in such projects.

“I think the important thing to stress is we’re putting out a request for qualifications, not a request for design,” Cook told the council. “We want to get a team on board and ready to help us with the design work as soon as we’re able.”

The city hopes to have a consultant selected by Aug. 9 and under contract by Aug. 21.

The reason the city is putting out a request now is “to make sure the city is in a strong position to apply for grants in the spring,” Cook said.

Because the city plans to apply for grants to help fund the waterfront project, state officials with the  Recreation and Conservation Office have advised that having designs submitted with its application will make the city more competitive. The city will pursue a design team concurrent with the ongoing process of gauging public opinion on what Waterfront Park will look like.

“We won’t have all of the components that will be in the design, but I think we have a pretty good idea of a lot of them,” Cook said. “I think we have enough of the parameters that we’re looking for to be able to select the right team.”

The city held a community meeting to gather ideas for Waterfront Park improvements on June 1, which Cook noted was “extremely well-attended.” Another forum is scheduled for 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30 at the Waterfront Park Community Center.

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