On September 13, the Salida Public Art Commission hosted a public feedback meeting to gather ideas for the upcoming “Spirit of Salida” project. The project site is the former skate park located at First and G Street. During the meeting, community members were asked to share their likes, dislikes, and conceptual ideas for the project.
TJ Hittle, the landscape architect chosen by the commission and approved by the city council, installed five panels around the room with design ideas based on the commission’s intentions for the project. These include:
- Year-round access and use
- Beautiful but durable
- Visually inviting
- Preserving the city’s heritage
Community members were then instructed to write sticky notes and place them on the boards which Hittle took home for review. The meeting also included city staff who were there to answer questions.
After a presentation by the commission, several members of the community expressed their wish that the skatepark remain exactly that. However, the skate park has been replaced with a new, much larger skate park located on the grounds of the Salida Aquatic Center. While the former skatepark space was originally planned as simply becoming more parking space next to the car park it adjoins, the idea surfaced over a year ago, from transform it into a public art space, since it adjoins downtown Salida, which is already a space dedicated to Colorado arts and culture.
The Commission and Mayor Wood emphasized that the purpose of the meeting was to focus on sharing ideas related to what the public art space could become.
It was the first of four opportunities for the public to share their ideas. A public engagement survey was also distributed as another tool to help the commission and Hittle better understand what the community wants from this space.
It should be noted that no design decisions were made and this was the first meeting to better understand what the public wants from the project. At the end of the meeting, community members and commission members sat down and discussed a wide range of ideas for the space. The city hopes community members will see this project as an evolution of the space.