Martinsburg town square proposal focuses on 'green' design

June 02, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
  • This drawing provided by Grove & Dall'Olio Architects PLLC shows a "green" schematic plan to redesign the square at King and Queen streets in Martinsburg, W.Va.

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- A schematic design to improve pedestrian safety in Martinsburg's town square proposes that the city center at King and Queen streets be more "green."

The Martinsburg City Council, convened as a committee on Wednesday, unanimously recommended a new design for town square that proposes tree-lined lawns on either side of East King Street in the 100 block.

Councilman At-Large Gregg Wachtel was absent.

The council is expected to vote on the consensus they reached on the design next week.

The "north" and "south" lawns would amount to about 1/4 of an acre of green space, according to architect Lisa Dall'Olio of Grove & Dall'Olio Architects PLLC, which designed several schematic options for city officials to consider. A second, more expensive option, proposed decorative pavers in place of the lawns.

The recommended design proposes a water fountain at the entrance to the 100 block of East King Street that is crowned by a sculpture of city founder Revolutionary War Maj. Gen. Adam Stephen. A rectangular perennial flower bed behind the water feature and sculpture would be part of a boulevard-style element that would replace a turning lane in East King Street. A veterans monument and flags currently at the square would be centered at the east end of the flower bed, according to Dall'Olio.


Grove & Dall'Olio Architects is working with Chester Engineers, the prime consultant for the city on the project.

The "town green" design has been estimated to cost about $780,000, Richard E. Travers of Chester Engineers told city officials Wednesday. The base bid does not include the sculpture or decorative paving within four decorative paving crosswalks that will be installed at the busy intersection, Travers said.

The city was awarded $629,000 in state and federal grants since 2008 that required a local match of $157,250 for the project, according to City Manager Mark Baldwin.

Completion of the project is possible by the end of the year, Baldwin said.

"The state prefers to see this out to bid and money being spent well before end of August or first week of September or so, just so we start spending some of the (federal stimulus grant) money," Baldwin said.

Dall'Olio said the boulevard element of the square's design and decorative paving for new crosswalks were included in the plan to improve pedestrian safety, slow traffic and discourage tractor-trailers from continuing onto East King Street, which practically dead-ends at Water Street.

A small stage on the "south lawn" near the historic Boarman House also is featured in the design for public events.

The lawns would replace several parking spaces in the square, but parking would be expanded in the BB&T bank parking lot behind the project site and options for additional on-street parking near the square are being explored, Dall'Olio said.

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