Carmel Parks board approves design firm for West Park


By Mark Ambrogi

A big step toward enhancing Carmel’s West Park has been taken.

The Carmel/Clay Board of Parks and Recreation unanimously approved the recommendation to hire SEH of Indiana for the West Park Master Plan Update at its monthly meeting at the Monon Community Center East on June 9.

Gregg Calpino, the project manager for SEH, had worked with the parks department before.

“He was the lead designer for Central Park when he was with JJR (in 2002),” said Michael Klitzing, assistant director of Carmel Clay Parks. “We then retained his new firm SEH to do the master plan for the North part of Central Park. This will be third project, the second one with SEH.”

SEH’s cost proposal was $109,750, which was more than Ratio’s projected cost of $106,000. The Hitchcock Design Group’s projected cost was $144,800. Those were the three firms approached after trimming it down from nine proposals from design teams.

Klitzing said the next step is to negotiate the contract.

“We’ve got basically the terms and we understand the scope so we’ll work out the contract,” Klitzing said. “Then we’ll arrange a kick-off meeting that will be between the team and management to coordinate dates. We’ll then decide when we’re going to have public meetings so the public can provide their input on what they want to see at West Park. What do they like about the park currently? What should we not touch? What would they like to see added to that park? Then based on that input Gregg will come up with several different ideas. We’ll present those ideas to the community, get more feedback, refine the plan and ultimately come up with a final recommendation for the board’s consideration.”

Klitzing said from the time they have a signed contract to a finalized plan for the park will be nine to 12 months.

Klitzing said the playground and spray park are getting near the end of their functional life.

“We’re going to look at replacing those,” Klitzing said. “We have 80 acres that have never been developed that have been purchased after the original development of the park. So we’ll revisit the entire park and see what makes sense and what can be tweaked a little bit to make it a contiguous park if you will.”