The park will comprise 40 acres south of the future downtown boulevard and 30 acres south of the realigned Interstate 40. The two sections will be connected by the SkyDance Bridge.
Construction on a sliver of the northern park is expected to be completed for the opening of the boulevard in 2014, with the northern and southern halves being completed in the following years. The trio of design ideas uses many of the same building blocks. The plans differ in terms of how they use those elements, said Mary Margaret Jones, senior principal at Hargreaves Associates, consultants hired by the city.
All proposals feature an interactive fountain in the northeast corner and plenty of trees and gardens. The north park will feature ponds or lakes, a stage, a performance lawn and a restaurant area.
In the first proposal, the majority of programmed activities (spaces slated for activites) takes place in the north park. The performance lawn takes on an oval appearance; a small lake is located just south of the oval; and Robinson is lined with event spaces and gardens. The southern section is more nature-oriented, with a path from SkyDance to the Oklahoma River winding lazily through the trees and two open fields.
The second design features a larger lake in the northern section and distributes the programmed activity sites more evenly throughout the park. The future boulevard is addressed with a plaza and a more urban look than the first. The southern section provides more space for sports and also features community gardens and enclosed areas for dogs.
The third proposal works on more of an east/west axis rather than north/ south. Programming is balanced between the north and south sections. There is no lake in the northern section; water features become increasingly prominent the closer one gets to the river.
The third proposal features more open areas in the southern part than the other two, as well as more programming sites along Robinson. The performance lawn is asymmetrically shaped.
A third public meeting on the park design is tentatively scheduled for December, although no specific date has been set.
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