City of Lawrence

City Manager’s Office



Tom Markus, City Manager


Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager


Porter Arneill, Director of Arts and Culture


July 6, 2016


East Ninth Street Study Session



At the May 24 City Commission meeting, Josh Shelton of el dorado inc. presented the Comprehensive Concept Design Plan for East Ninth Street and public testimony was heard.  (May 24, 2016 East Ninth Agenda Memo)


The City Commission received the Concept Design Plan and directed staff to schedule a future study session to discuss the issues of design, funding, and scope of work for the proposed project.


Project History

For a comprehensive project and related programs timeline with hyperlinks including City Commission actions, please click on or copy and paste this link into your browser:


ArtPlace America Grant

In March 2014, after being selected as a finalist for the second year in a row, the Lawrence Arts Center submitted an ArtPlace America Grant application on April 17, 2014.  The grant application describes the scope of the project as follows:


 1. One sentence description of the project:

Free State Boulevard: From the Studios to the Streets, led by the Lawrence Arts Center, the City of Lawrence, and a Creative Team, will revitalize six blocks of 9th Street that link the Warehouse Arts Area and Downtown Lawrence, creating multi-modal paths, upgraded amenities, and a new model of urban infrastructure that will enable local artists to engage our community in ways inspired by the revolutionary and counter-culture spirit of Lawrence and our favorite iconoclasts John Brown, Langston Hughes, and William S. Burroughs.


 2. Please describe the location(s) of focus for your work. Why did you choose this location, place, or area for your work? What is the historic or current climate, challenge, opportunity, or issue (social, physical, and/or economic) that your work is addressing? (250/250 words maximum)

-Location: Lawrence, Kansas’s 9th Street in the Lawrence Cultural District, a corridor lined with small businesses, homes, and artists’ studios in an underinvested neighborhood. St. Luke’s A.M.E., Langston Hughes’s church; John Brown and William Burroughs sites; New York School, a neighborhood elementary school; and Turnhalle, a 19th century German immigrant center now considered for artists’ studios also line these blocks. Over 300 artists work in studios along the corridor and are ready to integrate their work into community spaces.

- Neighbors have requested improved sidewalks, street lighting, and support for an artistic streetscape for decades, and alliances are finally in place to make this happen with ArtPlace support. Private interests and municipal and federal governments have invested in the Warehouse Arts Area to the East and Lawrence’s downtown to the West, while the six blocks in between lack lighting, sitting places, walkable and bike-able paths, and art.

- Processes of seeking and receiving NEA Our Town funding and ArtPlace finalist status (2013) caused Lawrence politicians, artists, neighborhood representatives, and businesses to address longstanding differences. Lawrence’s 2013 Cultural District Task Force was a diverse group that tackled questions about gentrification, preservation, development, and what creative placemaking means here. Now, the City Commission has approved the Task Force recommendations reflected in this proposal, and all stakeholders are ready to engage in next steps.

-This project will be a model for neighborhood change, showing how a city can embed artists with an Urban Designer and city engineers at the outset of infrastructure development.


3. Please describe the work you want to do for which you are seeking ArtPlace America support. (350/350 words maximum)

If we receive ArtPlace funding, the City will fund 9th Street renovation, making it an environmentally responsible Complete Street with lighting. ArtPlace will fund consultation, design, artists’ fees, and materials that will make this street a distinctive place with permanent artistic elements and technological capacity for more ephemeral expressions of place through visual and performing art:


-ArtPlace will fund a professional Urban Planner to lead Creative Team including Director of Public Works, the Arts Center, and lead artists. The Team will design the streetscape and a sustainable plan for permanent and ephemeral art and cultural events that will transform this segment of 9th Street into Free State Boulevard, an engaging passage from the Warehouse Arts Area to Downtown. Artists will be at the forefront of planning.


More information is available in the ArtPlace America Grant application.


After the ArtPlace Grant was awarded, the Lawrence Arts Center entered into an agreement with ArtPlace America.



City Commission Authorizes Staff to Proceed With ArtPlace Project

On July 8, 2014, the City Commission authorized staff to proceed with the ArtPlace project and develop a Request for Qualifications for a design team to prepare the appropriate ArtPlace project plans.  Staff Memo & Attachments  Public Works also developed an accompanying Preliminary Concept & Cost Estimate along with CIP Budget Options.


9th Street Corridor Artistic and Engineering Design Services RFQ

As authorized by the City Commission on July 8 2014 (Regular Agenda, #4, pg. 50), in the early fall of 2014, the city published RFQ No 1402 for “Artistic and engineering design services for the 9th Street Corridor - Massachusetts to Delaware reconstruction and revitalization in conjunction with an ArtPlace creative placemaking grant” City Project No. PW1502. In addition to describing the overall project scope, the RFQ included the narrative from the ArtPlace Grant Application. The submittal deadline for the RFQ was October 1, 2014.  An RFQ Committee was assembled to review submittals, conduct interviews and select a design team.


Design Team Selection and Contract

The design team led by el dorado inc. was selected for the project.  On November 18, 2014 the City Commission authorized staff to negotiate a contract with el dorado inc. (Regular Agenda, #3, pg. 5 - Staff Memo, additional staff memo), and on December 9, 2014 the City Commission authorized staff to begin negotiations on a scope and fee with the design team of el dorado inc. for the 9th Street Corridor Project (Regular Agenda, #2, pg. 29 - Staff Memo & Attachments).


On January 27, 2015 the City Commission approved the Architectural Design Services Agreement  with el dorado inc. (Regular Agenda, #1, pg. 5 -  Staff Memo & Attachments) and on February 18, 2015 the Architectural Design Services Agreement with el dorado inc. was signed. 


Under Section C. Ownership of Architectural Documents beginning on page 13 of the Agreement:

All Architectural Documents prepared in connection with this Project shall be the property of the Consultant, whether the Project for which they are made is executed or not; however, the Consultant shall provide the City a copy of all Architectural Documents as requested by the City and related to services for which the consultant has been compensated.

Reports, plans, specifications and related documents are the Consultant’s copyrighted instruments, and the Consultant, at its option, may so identify them by appropriate markings. Provided that the Consultant is paid in full for its services, then the City may reuse these final documents without any additional compensation. However, such reuse shall be for City use and the Consultant shall have no liability for City alteration to the documents or for any use other than as intended pursuant to the terms hereof.

Artist Selection and Contracts

The Artist Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was published and distributed locally, regionally and nationally.  The RFQ included three commission opportunities: “Try it Out,” “East Ninth Artist” and “Integrated Art Collaborations.” 

A full summary of the selection process is here: East Ninth Artist Selection Process & Summary

Eight artists were selected by the panel: five from Lawrence, two from Kansas City, MO and one from New York (previously from Kansas City, MO).  The three “Integrated Art Collaborations” projects are contracted for $100,000 each and the five “East Ninth Artists” are contracted for $10,000 each.  (Due to a low response for the “Try It Out” program, it was cancelled.) 


The Citizen Advisory Committee also developed an “Associate Artist” commission opportunity for local artists interested in collaborating with the three selected integrated artists and gaining experience in a large-scale public art project.  Three local artists were selected and are contracted for  


As the fiscal agent for the ArtPlace Grant, the Lawrence Arts Center worked with the design team to craft and implement contracts with the artists.


Agreement with the Lawrence Arts Center

On July 21, 2015, the City and Lawrence Arts Center entered into an Agreement  for reimbursing $50,000 in design/art fees from ArtPlace grant and has received payment.  This agreement specifically allows the City, at its own discretion, to decide to delay, postpone, cancel, modify, or elect not to fund, construct or contract for the construction or rehabilitation of the project (Section 3.)


Recent Q & A


1)   Is it necessary to tear up the work that was completed on 9th street between Pennsylvania and Delaware in 2013?

Josh Shelton: From a civil standpoint, here is the explanation about proposed work on 9th between Pennsylvania and Delaware: This all assumes the City’s desire to hold straight alignment for East 9th street the length of the corridor.


1. The team used the westbound traffic alignment at Mass (there is no wiggle room at this intersection) to carry all the way through to Delaware.  This moves the north curb line at the particular block between Penn and Delaware north by 3’-0”.


2. This moves the south curb line north by about 9’ to hold street width consistent with the rest of the plan.


3. This alignment allows the shared path to squeeze through, not necessarily at this block, but at an intersection just west at the AME church.  That intersection introduces many constraints that inform the circulation alignments.  Within that intersection we needed to accommodate:


a. historic brick sidewalks and historic circulation patterns important to the church as a historical structure

            b. existing trees

            c. a grade change of more than 3’-0” from street to sidewalk, and

            d. ADA accessibility and safe bike circulation


We could certainly look at easing the street alignment south between New Jersey and Delaware to meet up with the current street alignment east of Delaware, but el dorado and Bartlett & West were of the understanding that the City did not want to shift street alignments.  Again, this can be accomplished if desired.


As I understood the situation, Bartlett & West visited with city staff about the most logical location to make these pavement adjustments at the block between Penn and Delaware and it was determined that a cut along the center of the street was the best location for this work, given that pavement striping would allow the cut to be more discreet. 


2)   When was the work between Pennsylvania and Delaware done and how much did it cost?  How was it funded?

a.    2013, $176,000 (didn’t include intersections). Infrastructure Sales Tax. 


3)   What is the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) rating of that portion of the street and the rest of 9th street? (PCI scale: 100 best to 0 worst.  Ideally, repair at 50 or below)

a.    E 9th St - 65' W of Pennsylvania St to Delaware St – PCI 100

·         E 9th St - Massachusetts St to 60' E of New Hampshire St – PCI 50.5

·         E 9th St - 60' E of New Hampshire St to Connecticut St – PCI 30.5

·         E 9th St - Connecticut St to 31' E of New Jersey St – PCI 43

·         E 9th St - 31' E of New Jersey St to 65' W of Pennsylvania St – PCI 47


4)   If the project doesn’t proceed, does the entire ArtPlace America grant have to be paid back or just the portion that remains unspent?

a.    The unspent portion.

b.    NOTE: If the project proceeds with a reduced scope, it may still be possible to implement the public art programming under the ArtPlace grant.  Ultimately, this would be determined by the Lawrence Arts Center and ArtPlace America.


5)   What happens to the ArtPlace artist’s payments if the project doesn’t proceed?

a.    Eleven artists are currently under contract:

                                          i.    Three for Integrated Art at $100,000 each ($80,00 each for fabrication and installation)

·         $41,000 paid out thus far with $259,000 remaining

                                         ii.    Five for East Ninth Artists at $5000 each

·         $7,500 paid out thus far with $7500 remaining

                                        iii.    Three for Associate Artists commissioned to do up to $4,000.00 in work.

·         $3,250.00 paid out thus far with $750 remaining.


·         All payments have been for Phase I: Design. The artists commissioned for the project will begin to get paid for Phase II if the project proceeds.


6)   Why is the estimated budget different from the city budget?

For the City Commission meeting on July 18, 2014, Public Works developed a Preliminary Concept & Cost Estimate which estimated a $3,134,700 budget for the project.


During the annual budget preparation process and Capital Improvement Plan in 2014, as a way of phasing the project, the city estimated $200,000 for the design contract in 2015 and, in 2015, the city estimated $2,750,000 for the 9th Street Corridor Improvements in 2016.


Josh Shelton 5/25/16: On a few occasions the budget has been represented as mismanaged, and/or spiraling out of control.  The project started out as a 6-block site and, while el dorado was being contracted for services, it evolved into a 7-block site.  


Please find attached correspondence with Diane Stoddard dated January 19, 2015.  In this letter, under “general notes and assumptions”, I clarify assumptions related to hard costs as they relate to a 6 block project vs. a 7 block project.  I also clarify thoughts about soft costs for both design phases.  

The most recent detailed cost estimate provided by Darron Ammon in the Final Concept Design Development Plan is exactly in line with these assumptions, as are soft cost assumptions.  In short, the soft cost and hard cost assumptions are exactly where we thought they would be when the project began.  As I know overall budget deliberations are currently being carefully considered, I thought this was an important clarification to offer.


7)   What would General Street Repair encompass and how much would it cost?

Chuck Soules: Public Works (PW) typically replaces the pavement, curbs and gutters, storm sewer (where necessary), sidewalks /multi-use path, and street trees.


9th Street from Delaware to Penn cost $176,000 when it was done in 2013. That did not include either intersection and PW was able to close this section of road to construct.


Below is an estimate if the City were to rebuild 9th Street as a typical Public Works project.  This is only 9th Street from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania―5 blocks, not 7 as in the Concept Design.  It does not include 9th from Mass to New Hampshire nor from Penn to Delaware.


It does include:

Street Section - Two 12’ lanes, two 5’ bike lanes, two 8’ parking lanes.  Angled parking included where it currently is. Project area goes to the end of return for all side street intersections.  Layout Drawing


Sidewalk on both sides of the street - One 6’ and one 10’.


It does not include underground electric, extensive waterline (if needed), street trees, or lighting.


It does not include anything from Mass to New Hampshire (I reiterate this because there has been talk of a mill and overlay of this street section which is, again, not included. That would be an additional $100,000-$150,000 not including any curb and gutter or sidewalk repair).


Until we can thoroughly discuss what the project is and is not, this is truly an estimate:




























Parks and Recreation – Trees and Irrigation Cost Estimates

Trees - 100 trees x $365 per tree = $36,500 (purchase and install)


Water hydrants - 14 hydrants x $1600 each = $22,400 (purchase and install)