Public Arts Committee to Recommend Bench Design for Bayside Trail to City Council

By Carol McCracken (Post # 888)

By a unanimous vote yesterday, the Public Arts Committee decided to ask the City Council for its approval of its first choice for a package of three benches designed by SkyDesign Studio, Washington, D.C. The cost of the three benches, called swirl benches is $42,500. and would consume the Committee’s entire budget.

The Committee decided that should funds become available in the future from Maine Department of Transportation it would like to work again with Gary Haven Smith, N.H., whose proposal was too conceptual at this time to make a commitment to. The third bench proposal by Aaron Stephan, Bayside resident, and the most controversial of all the proposal was turned down by the Committee for additional consideration.

The Committee acknowledged that this process has been long and drawn out – about 2 years. The first round of proposals did not produce any results that the 9 member committee could support. So, the Committee repeated the process is a slightly altered format and came up with three finalists.

It’s hoped that the addition of these benches will attract more walkers/bikers to the Trail and provide an environment that will help attract more development of the Bayside area.

The matter is expected to be on the calendar of the City Council either the end of October or the beginning of November.