City of Lawrence

City Manager’s Office



City Commissioners


Tom Markus, City Manager

Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager


Porter Arneill, Director of Arts and Culture


May 16, 2016


East Ninth Street, Presentation of Phase 1: Concept Design Development Plan



The Lawrence Arts Center received a prestigious ArtPlace grant award for the infusion of art into a streetscape project along east 9th Street, from Delaware to Massachusetts, which will make the corridor more walkable and bicycle-friendly.


The design team was tasked to employ a “Complete Streets” design approach and recognize the wants and needs expressed by the Citizen Advisory Committee, community members, and city representatives.  The challenge and goal was to best accommodate all the interests related to the East Ninth Street project.


The Citizen Advisory Committee (or CAC) was a focused group of stakeholders who served as a constructive sounding board for the East Ninth project for the Design Team and City staff. The composition of the CAC was approved by the City Commission on February 10, 2015, with input from the Lawrence Arts Center and the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association. In addition to “at-large” appointments by the Mayor, stakeholder groups identified by the City of Lawrence designated representatives to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee to collectively represent a diverse set of perspectives. The role of the Citizen Advisory Committee is, on behalf of their constituents, to provide the Design Team feedback for proposed design concepts on a regular basis. The CAC held 12 public meetings between March 23, 2015 and March 30, 2016six more meetings than originally anticipated in the design agreement.


Project Description

The project area is a seven block area of east 9th Street, from Massachusetts Street to Delaware Street. East 9th Street has been a busy thoroughfare for over 150 years and this area is an important connection between historic Downtown Lawrence, the historic East Lawrence neighborhood, and the Industrial Historic District (commonly called the Warehouse Arts District). The area is also located in the city's Cultural District, an area defined in the Cultural District Task Force Report in 2013 with a high concentration of artistic, cultural, historic and natural amenities.


Design Firm: el dorado inc., a Kansas City-based urban design firm, was selected to lead a design team consisting of lead artist team Sans Façon, engineering firm Bartlett & West, and landscape architecture firm Coen + Partners. Other members of the design team include Dennis Domer, East Lawrence historian, Luke Dubois, multi-media art technician, and Kelly Kindscher, indigenous landscape specialist.

·             Scope of Work

·             Submitted Qualifications

·             Contract for Services 


The design team worked with the City of Lawrence, the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association (ELNA), Downtown Lawrence, Inc. (DLI), the Lawrence Arts Center, the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), residents, business owners and other community stakeholders to create a concept design for East 9th Street.


As part of the project scope, in addition to working with city staff and area stakeholders, the design and lead artist team conducted public workshops and neighborhood walks as part of the design development of a Work Plan, Complete Street Concept Plan, and three incremental versions of the Design Development Plan before delivering the final Concept Design Development Plan to the Citizen Advisory Committee on March 30, 2016.


Design Budget and Contract: The city approved $200,000 in the 2015 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) (page 197) to cover design expenses.  After the scope of the project was negotiated with el dorado inc.reflecting substantial community input additional public meetings were added to the scope.  The total design contract ($293,728) plus reimbursable expenses ($27,000) was authorized at $320,728.00 and was approved (#1, page 5) by the City Commission on January 27, 2015.  The Lawrence Arts Center has contributed $50,000 toward these services from the ArtPlace grant.


Artist Selection: The opportunity to compete for the project was open to all professional artists in the U.S. The artist Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was sent directly by email to over 250 artists and arts administrators locally, and was also distributed regionally and nationally through public art subscription lists via the internet. Two “pop-up” workshops were held for area artists to review and gain insight on the RFQ process.


The Artist Selection Panel (ASP) was selected by the CAC (#3, page 8) to represent stakeholders and the community for this project. The panel spent a total of more than 14 meeting hours learning about the project, reviewing submitted artist materials, conducting individual interviews and making their informed recommendations about artist selection.  All of the selection panel meetings were open to the public.


Three art programs were developed as part of the overall project, “Try it Out,” “East Ninth Artists,” and “Integrated Artists.”  (With only two submittals, “Try It Out,” was folded into the “East Ninth Artists” program.) Twenty four artists submitted their resumes, letters of interest and portfolios; eight artists were selected including five Lawrence-based artists; two artists from the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and one artist from New York (Previously from Kansas City, MO) Artist Selection Summary.


Current Status

On March 30th, Josh Shelton of el dorado inc. delivered and presented the Concept Design Development Plan to the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) marking the last of 12 CAC meetings* between March 23, 2015 and March 30, 2016. (*Contractually, el dorado agreed to participate in six CAC meetings along with the deliverables identified in the Scope of Work.  To accommodate schedule delays related to the 2015 City Commissioner search and to provide more opportunities for CAC and public input during the design process, Mr. Shelton voluntarily added six extra CAC meetings at no additional cost.)


The Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) voted in favor of recommending to the City Commission that the East Ninth Street Concept Design Development Plan advance to Phase 2, Technical Design by a vote of 12 Yes, 2 No and 1 Abstention. March 30, 2016 CAC Meeting Notes


Josh Shelton presented the Concept Design Development Plan to the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association (ELNA) at their regular monthly meeting on Monday, April 4. The East Lawrence Neighborhood Association held a special meeting on Monday, April 11 and voted 7 Yes, 6 No and 1 Abstention to recommend to the City Commission that the East Ninth Concept Design Development Document be advanced to Phase 2.  ELNA Letter


Josh Shelton presented the Concept Design Development Plan to the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission (LCAC) at their regular meeting on Wednesday, April 13.  The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission voted 9 Yes, 1 No and 1 Abstention to recommend to the City Commission that the East Ninth Concept Design Development Document be advanced to Phase 2 with the request that the Commission be given the authority to continue to be involved in the approval of the specific arts elements of the project as they are developed.  LCAC Letter  LCAC April 2016 Minutes


Other Stakeholder Meetings (Meetings Timeline)

Porter Arneill presented the Concept Design Development Plan to The Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) at their regular meeting on Monday, March 21.  BAC Letter   


The Historic Resources Commission (HRC) Josh Shelton presented the overall design plan approach to the HRC on November 19, 2015 and kept staff informed to assure the HRC was aware of the design progression.    At the HRC meeting on April 21, the East 9th Street Project Concept Plan was listed on the Agenda under Miscellaneous Matters and public comment was received.  Although formal HRC review is not required at this stage (The HRC would conduct formal plan review during the technical design phase), at its monthly meeting on May 19 (Agenda Packet), the HRC will consider whether to provide comment on the Concept Design Development Plan.  An update to this agenda memo will be provided if applicable. 



The Lawrence Arts Center was notified in June 2014 that the ArtPlace grant for $500,000 was awarded for the 9th Street Corridor Project - LAC is awarded ArtPlace grant


As noted above on page 2 under, “Design Budget and Contract,” in November 2014, the city approved an estimated $200,000.00 in the 2015 City Budget (pg. 197) for “Cultural District 9th St. Corridor Improvements (including bike lanes and lighting) - design” 


On January 27, 2015 the City Commission authorized the City Manager to sign the agreement with el dorado inc. for a total of $320,728 – City Commission Minutes (#1, page 5)


On July 21, 2015, the Lawrence Arts Center signed an agreement to reimburse the city $50,000 in design fees from the ArtPlace grant. 


The August, 2016 estimated budget outlined the budget related to the Phase 1 contract with el dorado and the ArtPlace grant. 


In November 2015, the city approved an estimated $2,750,000.00 in the 2016 City Budget (pg. 196) for “Cultural District 9th St. Corridor Improvements (including bike lanes and lighting) - construction” 


A formal estimate for Phase 2 design hasn’t been developed at this stage.  On page 2 of the Scope of Services letter provided by el dorado inc. on January 19, 2015, Josh Shelton stated this about Phase 2:  “Regarding Phase 2, our team will be able to comprehensively assess scope/budget/schedule/funding for Phase 2 at the conclusion of Phase 1. Without knowing the design direction and scope details of Phase 2, we are not yet able to assign a fee for professional services for this phase, but we can anticipate such a fee could fall between $275,000 and $375,000, depending on project scope, project design, and project phasing.”


In the estimated East Ninth Design Development Budget on page 80 of the Concept Design Development Plan the current overall estimated budget for demolition and construction is $3,567,945.64 which includes a 10% contingency.


On May 3, 2016, the Lawrence Arts Center provided a letter to the city regarding the project budget and the ArtPlace grant, clarifying the private in-kind pledges and contributions.


Staff Recommendation

Staff recommends that the City Commission receive the East Ninth Concept Design Development Plan and provide direction to staff as appropriate.