STEAM Park Feasibility Study Results Released
February 17, 2015
Durango, CO – Today, the feasibility study for the Durango STEAM Park project was completed and presented to Durango City Council by BNIM, a Kansas City firm specializing in feasibility studies hired to conduct the study.
Results indicate that the project is feasible on the riverfront property alongside the Powerhouse Science Center.
"The Durango STEAM Park Leadership Team is very happy with the results of the feasibility study. The consultants concluded that the park is feasible, although we have some clear challenges ahead of us, and the community is supportive of the concept," said Terry R. Bacon, board president.
Some of the study's findings include:
The general public is supportive of the project concept based on interviews and a community survey that included over 900 respondents.
The project will potentially require the support of local, state, federal, public and private funding to be fully realized.
The study recommends that the City, community and DSP continue collaborating to grow support and best position the project for successful implementation.
Study results also showed that a project such as this will greatly benefit the non-profit partner organizations involved with the project, which includes the Durango Arts Center, Powerhouse Science Center, Music in the Mountains, San Juan Symphony, Durango Film and Stillwater Foundation. Consolidating organizations such as these into a shared facility allows for increased collaboration and expanded programming opportunities. Furthermore, this project can be a catalyst and magnet for further cultural and economic development.
The study highlighted some of the inherent challenges related to the project’s desired location as well. These include things such as parking, access and facilities currently operating in the desired location.
While the study used a broad, high-level approach to estimating an optimal facility size and development cost, the Durango STEAM Park Committee will consider taking the project to the next level of specificity by further defining the facility's potential design and development cost estimates. One of the project strategies may be to plan facility development in phases.
"The study serves as a foundation and points the way for us to move into the next phase, which is a more refined process. Once we have more specific concepts on design scenarios and costs, we can begin fundraising in earnest through a combination of private and corporate donors, and foundations," said Bacon.
Encouraged by the study's outcome, Durango STEAM Park hopes to continue collaborating with the City of Durango and the local community to explore ways of moving the project forward. Revitalizing the riverfront and enhancing downtown economic development, are just a couple of benefits a project like this can provide.
The feasibility study cost $150,000 and was funded by an Energy and Mineral Impact grant from the state worth $75,000, a match of $37,500 from the City of Durango, and the balance coming from private donations to Durango STEAM Park.
The Durango STEAM Park project was created by local residents with a vision of combining arts and sciences together along the Animas River. STEAM represents Science, Theatre, Education, Art and Music.
STEAM Park Feasibility Study Launched
November 14, 2014
Durango, CO – A feasibility study for the proposed STEAM Park project is now underway. The City of Durango has awarded BNIM, a Kansas City firm, with the contract to assess the financial feasibility for a Science, Theatre, Education, Arts and Music (STEAM) cultural park. In addition, the study will evaluate the proposed site adjacent to the Powerhouse Science Center and the Animas River Trail. The results of the study are expected in Spring 2015.
“We were delighted with the choice of BNIM to do the feasibility study,” commented Durango STEAM Park Board President Terry R. Bacon. “They had clearly done their homework, have vast experience doing feasibility studies on theatres and cultural sites, and had excellent local knowledge, to put together a thorough work plan. I believe they will do an outstanding job in determining how feasible the Park is at our preferred location and we’ll come away from the study knowing exactly what the opportunities and challenges are.”
The feasibility study is a joint project between the City of Durango and the Durango STEAM Park and is being partially funded with an Energy and Mineral Impact grant of $75,000 from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs with a match of $37,500 from the City of Durango, and the balance of the $150,000 cost coming from private contributions.
The BNIM team includes Durango’s Goff Engineering and Surveying, Inc. BNIM’s expertise includes similar studies and projects and incorporates years of experience with development of facility master plans, expansion analysis and sustainable development. Other local non-profit partners in the venture include the Durango Arts Center, Powerhouse Science Center, Music in the Mountains, San Juan Symphony, Durango Independent Film Festival and the Stillwater Foundation..
Peggy Zemach Joins STEAM Park Project as Co-Chair
August 14, 2014
Durango, CO – STEAM Park Project Chairpersons, Carol Salomon, Terry R. Bacon and Terry Swan recently announced the addition of Peggy Zemach as a fourth co-chair on the project’s committee.
Zemach recently stepped down as the Executive Director of the Durango Arts Center. During Peggy’s seventeen years in Durango, she has been an active participant in many science, arts and cultural endeavors. She was the first executive director of the Durango Children’s Museum when it opened in 1997. She then became a founder for the Durango Discovery Museum, now the Powerhouse Science Center. She has been a volunteer/board/paid staff member at the Animas Museum, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum, and the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College.
Co-Chair Terry Bacon said of Zemach, “I’ve known Peggy since before she was Executive Director of DAC. She is an intelligent, creative, and resourceful leader. Her joining the STEAM team leadership will add creative ideas along with her organizational skills, and, most importantly, her dedication to and enthusiasm for the STEAM Park concept. The STEAM Park could be a transformational development for the City of Durango, and we need the energy, creativity, and leadership Peggy will bring to make that a reality.”
Readers can learn more about the STEAM Park and follow its progress at www.durangosteampark.org.
Durango City Council Votes to Provide Funding for STEAM Park Feasibility Study
August 5, 2014
Durango, CO – The STEAM Park riverfront redevelopment project came closer to reality today when the Durango City Council approved half the remaining money to match a state grant.
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded $75,000 towards a feasibility study for the proposed arts, education and cultural center on the Animas River near the Powerhouse Science Center.
The council's action leaves just $37,500 to be raised privately for a total grant of $150,000. The project's five nonprofit partners — Powerhouse Science Center, Durango Arts Center, Durango Film, San Juan Symphony and Music in the Mountains — and private donors have committed to raising the rest.
The feasibility study will examine the possibility of redeveloping the river site to include an outdoor amphitheater and indoor performance and education space for science, theater, arts and music. The study will take into consideration the size and cost of the project as well as public access and parking.
"We are delighted with the City Council's vote this evening and happy that it means the STEAM Park feasibility study will move forward, bringing the first phase of this project to fruition," Project Co-chair Terry R. Bacon said. "Durango is a community with a tremendous river, and other than the river trail, we don't take enough advantage of it. We believe that STEAM Park is the first in a number of developments than can help transform this city."
Once the grant is in hand, the city and the STEAM Park partners will select a firm to conduct the study, most likely this fall. The study is expected to be completed early next year.
To learn more about STEAM Park, please visit www.durangosteampark.org.