The Chester Bowl Improvement Club Board of Directors and staff are in the early stages of planning an expansion and renovation of the Thom Storm Chalet, and we want you to participate in the process!
PLEASE READ THROUGH THIS FULL POST for the background information on the project and what type of feedback we are looking for. A link to the plans is included at the bottom.
In November, 2014, the City of Duluth approved the Chester Park Mini-Master Plan to guide future use and development in Chester Bowl Park. One specific concept included was a chalet renovation and expansion. Click here for more information on the mini-master plan and what it says about the chalet.
If you have spent time in the chalet during ski and snowboard season- or during summer camp- you have seen that our building is not large enough to fully accommodate everyone who wants to be part of our programs. In fact, we had to limit summer camp registration based on the available indoor space for rainy days, and some days filled four hours after registration opened! We also recognize that the building is deteriorating and is very energy in-efficient. The building also does not meet ADA accessibility standards, with the second floor accessible only by stairs.
The Chester Bowl Board of Directors and Development Committee has been working with LHB Corporation to develop an initial design plan to present for public comment. We have three meetings planned to gather public input on the proposed renovation and expansion to the Thom Storm Chalet and share our work on this project to date. The public meetings will take place on:
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 7:00 pm (Thanks to those who attended!)
Tuesday, February 16th, 2016, 6:00 pm
Wednesday, March 9th, 2016, 6:00 pm
All public meetings all take place at: Central Hillside Center, 12 E 4th Street. The best option is to attend one of the public meetings because the conversation generates rich ideas and identifies opportunities for improvement. Each meeting will build on the last as comments and changes may be worked into the design concept.
After the public process, the final plan will proceed to the Parks Commission, the Planning Commission, and the City Council for approval before fundraising and construction will begin. This project is a partnership between the CBIC and the City of Duluth, and the building is a City Building.
Key components of the plan include:
- Modest increase to the footprint of the building (on plans, existing foundation walls are grey, with white designating new foundation walls)
- Widening of hallways on lower level and inclusion of storage space for ski and summer camp gear
- Addition of elevator to second level
- Re-opening second stairway (it is currently there- concessions is built on top of it!)
- Modifying bathrooms to become ADA accessible; remain open to outside when park is open but building is closed
- Adding one single stall ADA accessible family restroom on lower level
- Expansion of Ski Patrol space and storage space on lower level
- Relocation of caretaker apartment from main level to new upper level (two residents are responsible for park maintenance and security)
- Moving and remodeling concessions space – square footage is currently the same as current space on plan but based on feedback from meeting #1 we will be likely expanding the concessions space
- Additional 437 square feet of open chalet space on main level (had been apartment space)
- Addition of meeting room on main level
- Two possible renderings are included – one in the traditional “Swiss Chalet” design and another that is more contemporary. We want to know which you prefer!
- We are unable to expand the building towards the creek in any way
- The increase of open multi-purpose space, along with the increased concessions, will allow us to be a more attractive location for building rentals for parties and small weddings
How can you help? Give us your feedback! If you are unable to attend the meetings, you may email comments to Dave Schaeffer with the CBIC at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail comments to the Chester Bowl Improvement Club, 1801 E Skyline Pkwy, Duluth, MN 55812. We are specifically looking to know what you like about the plans, what you don’t like about the plans, if there are needs that you perceive the building having that are unmet, and what additional ideas you have for improvements. Please think about year-round use for all types of programs!
OK, ready to see the plans? Check them out at this link.