After receiving insanely high engineering-design estimates, former City Manager Brian Kenner asked TakomaDogs Chief Designer Eric Saul to shrink the size of the dog park to save costs. As a result, we had to eliminate the separate high activity/low activity areas, and consolidate the park into one smaller combined site, losing about 7,000 square feet of space in the process.
Eric used his excellent design skills to reduce the overall cost of the dog park. He successfully eliminated any need for retaining walls and simplified the topographic profile of the park. The park now will require no outside engineering certifications to build. These TakomaDogs changes should ultimately save the City over $100,000.
Some of the most challenging aspects of the Darwin Ave. dog-park site are the steep slopes that could have necessitated expensive engineering work like drainage swales and retaining walls. These features are expensive to design and expensive to build. After a couple site walks and visits with City staff, we believe the park can be designed to eliminate all retaining walls and the two drainage swales, saving huge amounts.
The final finished footprint of this new unified design should be around 9,800 square feet, slightly smaller than Montgomery County's minimum dog park size of 10,000 square feet. This new design will allow the City to move forward with construction more quickly, and potentially allow us to meet the original planned opening of early summer.