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The West Hollywood City Council on July 21 approved a motion allowing for a schematic design to be created for the second-phase of renovations at West Hollywood Park.
The decision was a step in a process that has already lasted more than a decade to create new facilities at the park, which underwent a transformation during the first phase of the project when the library and a parking structure was built. The plan calls for an approximately $85.5 million project that would bring a new building with rooftop swimming pools and amenities for sports programs to an area at the southeast section of the park, near El Tovar Place and Robertson Boulevard. The building would replace the West Hollywood Auditorium, the current pool and aquatics facility and some outlying buildings, creating more open space in the park.
The council’s decision enables the architect — LPA Inc. — and the landscape architect — Rios Clementi Hale Studios — to formalize the design of the building and its surroundings, according to city of West Hollywood spokesman Joshua Schare. A committee created by the city is still going over final design plans, and the start of construction for the project is likely a year away, he added.
Current plans for the project call for a “grand staircase” with an estimated cost of $3 million. Schare said the cost is a “rough estimate,” and has not been finalized. However, the staircase is envisioned as serving multiple purposes. In addition to being a functional entryway to the facilities, it would likely incorporate a special exercise component, and would be landscaped to match the surrounding aesthetics. The building and facilities would be connected to the library and parking structure at the site.
Once a final design schematic is created, members of the public would have an opportunity to weigh-in on the project before it is presented to the city council for approval. A specific final cost has not yet been established.
West Hollywood City Councilman Jeffrey Prang said he is optimistic about the current proposals for the park, and added that it would bring more green space to the city. He said he has not formed a final opinion on the design or amenities, and is open to considering options such creating an off-leash dog area at the site.
“It’s undecided. We are taking a look to see if there is any way to put it in,” Prang said. “I am very supportive of an off-leash dog park.”
The councilman added that a dog area would have to be weighed against other uses, as the park has limited space. He said that it is something that will be considered over the next several months prior to a final approval of the project.
“I am hoping we will find a solution that makes sense,” Prang added. “It just depends on how it fits together.”
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