City scaling back plans for one Riverfront Park project

Spokane rethinking multiple Riverfront Park plans

SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane has to rethink plans for one of the new projects in Riverfront Park.

Their designs for the ice rink and SkyRide were too expensive. Now, it's back to the drawing board.

Construction on the ice rink and SkyRide facility has been delayed a month or two, and project designers have been working on ways to scale back about $400,000 from the design plans. The city says the budget for the "South Bank West" part of the park, where the ice rink will stand, is estimated at about $6 million.

But the city said, as a whole, Riverfront Park is still moving forward as planned.

"The rec rink, we're in the process of doing a little redesign," said Parks and Recreation Director Leroy Eadie. "As we got toward the end of that project and we did our last cost estimates, it came in a little higher than we felt comfortable with."

The Park Board recently approved an additional design fee of more than $35,000 to design firm Stantec, to reduce some of the costs.

"We really focused on smaller items that could save us some dollars," Eadie explained.

Some of those cost saving measures would include removing basalt columns, simplifying the landscaping and replacing some of the concrete with asphalt. The changes could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Eadie says they don't anticipate running into budget concerns like this with the other planned park projects.

"This site had a little more challenges than we expect on the other sites," Eadie explained, "but we also learned a lot on this project, too. It's the first project in the park under this bond so we learned some strategies and techniques."

Eadie explains in the grand scheme of the four year park redesign, they are still on schedule to finish before 2020.

"With the $64 million, we're going to deliver on everything we said we were, new rec rink, new carousel building, the pedestrian promenade, the pavilion and the north bank playground."

Construction is already underway on the Howard Street Bridge, and the Eadie says construction companies will bid on the ice rink project in November.

You can check out the rest of the park plans here.