A proposal to drastically change McEuen Field and close the 3rd Street boat launch in Coeur d'Alene is being met with mixed emotions.
More than a hundred people packed into the auditorium at Woodland Middle School Thursday night to learn more about a proposal to transform McEuen Field.
The City of Coeur d'Alene Parks Department, along with a team of local designers and engineers propose to expand McEuen Field into a 20 acre multi-use park.
Under the proposal, the field would feature basketball courts, a children's play area, a skating park, sledding hill and open space for football, frisbee and other games.
Parking would move underground to allow more room for green space and pedestrian friendly walking paths. Designers said by moving the parking underground they can double parking capacity.
In the proposal, the 3rd Street boat launch would close to make way for a skating rink in the winter and amphitheater seating in the summer.
While designers gave a virtual walk through of the plans, many in the audience held up signs opposing the boat launch closure and requesting to vote on the plan.
Ron Dayton, who lives in Spirit Lake handed out buttons that read "Save Our Boat Launch."
Dayton has used the launch for nearly 30 years and wants to see it stay open.
"We're just showing support for public access to the lake," said Dayton.
Coeur d'Alene Parks Director, Doug Eastwood said the design team wants to move the launch to the west end of North Idaho College to still allow easy access to the lake.
But, Dayton wants it to stay right where it's been.
"But we kinda like that launch right there, it works well, it's deep enough," said Dayton.
The designers, named Team McEuen will use all the feedback at the public meetings to come up with a final plan to be presented to the Coeur d'Alene City Council.
Based on 146 questionnaires received at the first public meeting, 75 percent generally approve of the plan, 17 percent disagree.
Online however the general approval rate of the proposal is slightly lower at 62 percent. According to Team McEuen, of the 699 people that have responded to the online survey 33 percent disagree with the plan.
Eastwood said funding for the plan will come from the Lake City Development Corporation, local clubs, donations, private businesses and grants.
The next public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 8th at 6 p.m at Woodland Middle School.
To take a look at the entire proposal click here: http://mceuenpark.com/