: Conceptual design work has been completed by S&ME, a consulting firm awarded the work on June 20, 2017 by the Ocoee City Commission. The kick-off meeting was held on July 18 and a staff design charrette was conducted on August 8. Three concept plans were created and a final design proposal was selected. A production phasing plan was established and a detailed cost estimate was calculated for each element of the overall plan. The preliminary design concept was presented to the City Commission at its December 5th meeting. Subsequent meetings with the commissioners have developed a site plan proposal that will undergo a final management review before publication. Engineering design of specific improvements will begin in the spring. Improvements needed for the expanded Lakeshore Center, such as additional parking, will be early components of Phase 1.
The total cost of the improvements depends on the specific elements selected for construction. Preliminary estimates exceed $10 million if every proposed element is constructed, while the current general bond fund allocation is slightly less than $2.5 million. This means that additional funds from a variety of sources will likely be needed to complete the project. The public space on the western shore of Starke Lake has become a major event venue space with multiple indoor and outdoor elements. This project will improve those spaces and provide additional capacity to accommodate larger public and private events. In addition, these improvements will provide space for private investments, such as restaurants, to take advantage of the shoreline ambience.
Two Major Project Components
The project will be constructed in two phases to allow an early start for that portion which can move forward prior to relocation of City Hall.
Lakefront Park Improvements
The major element of this project component will cost approximately $6 million and involve the removal of existing driveways, walkways, and buildings; construction of lakeside improvements, parking expansion, a small water park, a wedding garden, and pedestrian pathways.
Lake Shore Improvements
The shoreline of Starke Lake will get native littoral plantings to improve lake water quality and preserve the banks, plus landscaping, improved sidewalks and lighting, more pavilions, a boardwalk, and enhanced water-access facilities (piers and docks). Although the Downtown Master Plan called for the boat ramps to be relocated, this element of the project is not currently funded and is not included in the current concept plan.
General Fund Capital Bond Construction Schedule
Phase 1 will include shared parking and facilities supporting all venues; Phase 2 of construction includes demolition of the existing City Hall after staff relocates to the new building.