While plans for a “Dream Team” of notable designers and architects to lay out a master plan for Greensburg’s recovery are still in place, a change in the lineup was revealed at Thursday evening’s city council work session.


While plans for a “Dream Team” of notable designers and architects to lay out a master plan for Greensburg’s recovery are still in place, a change in the lineup was revealed at Thursday evening’s city council work session.
While renowned designer John Picard will still head the effort with Maxon Holdings and NAI Capital at his side, the lead architectural firm will now be BNIM out of Kansas City, rather than Lott and Barber of Savannah, Georgia, as previously indicated.
Following a presentation by BNIM representative Steve Hardy of Salina at Thursday’s meeting of how that firm will approach the development of a master plan in two phases, City Administrator Steve Hewitt said Lott and Barber’s replacement was largely at the urging of Picard.
“John and BNIM have worked together on projects in the past and he just has a relationship with them that makes this a good fit,” Hewitt said. “Plus, being from Kansas City, they’re a little more local (BNIM also has offices in Houston, Philadelphia, Des Moines and Los Angeles) than Lott and Barber.
“There’s also the fact that BNIM is doing the design work for the new school here, so they already have a presence in Greensburg, which again, makes it a nice fit all the way around.”
Hewitt said separate agreements with Picard and BNIM would be presented at Monday’s (October 1) City Council meeting for approval, and that Picard is seeking to secure private donations to cover most, if not all of what he would typically charge the City. He also said a $150,000 grant from USDA, in addition to other funding sources, should cover “about 95 percent of the design fees” charged by BNIM.
Phase I of BNIM’s proposal calls for design goals and principles for the rebuilding of Greensburg in the following areas:
•conceptual design scheme for downtown Greensburg;
•future land use map;
•zoning refinements;
•infrastructure analysis;
•preliminary housing policy recommendations;
•streetscape design guidelines for signature streets (Main and Hwy 54);
•energy efficiency and policy recommendations;
•strategy for building a highly walkable community;
•conceptual parks and open space layout.
While it will likely take up to 90 days for all areas of Phase I to be designed, Hewitt said he’s confident BNIM can have the design scheme for downtown done within 30 days. That would mean downtown’s master plan would be finished by November 1 once council has signed off on retaining the firm at its October 1 meeting. Hewitt sees completion of the downtown plan as pivotal, worthy perhaps of a town meeting for its unveiling.
“Having the downtown master plan done will provide continuity for people and will give business people an idea of what they’ll need to do to fit in with the theme and look of downtown.
“It will let them know how important “green” is going to be and what aesthetic touches will be included. They’ll know what we have in mind for downtown as far as setbacks and other specifications are concerned so they can go ahead and plan for being a part of it.”
Once Phase I is finished—presumably by January—Hewitt said it would likely take another 90 days to complete Phase II of the master plan, which will include the “bigger picture” of Greensburg’s redevelopment, and features the following details:
•detailed parks and open space plan;
•cultural resources analysis (including the Big Well, new theatre, new museum);
•economic development strategy;
•implementation program.
Once the agreements with Picard and BNIM are finalized, Hewitt said the presence of either in town will become regular through the remainder of 2007.
“John’s probably going to be flying in and spending time in Greensburg three or four times a month, while BNIM will be here two or three times a week,” he said. “They’re going to be developing this a lot faster than normal, because they know how important expedience is to us.”