By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,216)
At the monthly meeting of the Portland Public Art Committee early this week, the Committee was informed that the installation of the of the so-called three “swirl” benches the city council approved in early June will be delayed indefinitely. The swirl benches are yet to be built by SkyDesign who submitted the winning submission in response to a RFP from the Committee for benches on the Bayside Trail.
There are several problems that still need to be resolved before the project can go forward. The design of the benches and the material of which they are to be made remains on the drawing board. Sustainability and maintenance are unresolved issues here. Furthermore, because of personnel changes at the Washington, D.C. based company, the benches may need to be made overseas. In that case, the cost of making the benches for the Bayside Trail could skyrocket – right out of the budget of the Committee. SkyDesign so far has declined to sign a contract until it can determine whether or not the production of the benches will still fit in the fixed budget of $42,000. A spring installation is hoped for rather than this fall as had been anticipated.
The process of selecting benches for the Bayside Trail started over two years ago. The swirl benches were chosen as a result of a second round of RFPs by the Committee.
For more background information on the Bayside Seating project, please visit post # 1,151, dated 6/5/12 and post # 888, dated 9/22/11 herein.