Representatives from Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. (SEH) provided a presentation of proposed ideas for the area.
Ed Freer of SHE explained that information has been gathered from previous meetings to discuss possible ideas. Suggestions have been compiled into a master plan that is designed to be completed incrementally, as funding allows. The design is constructed such that the community and city could implement all or parts of it.
The design team discussed the riverfront in three separate sections: west, central and east. The west portion would be downriver of the park, fountain, and Riverview Center. The east portion consists of the area upriver from the Riverview Center to the bridge. The center section includes everything in between.
Potential design elements for the west portion could include shade structures to accompany the donor benches along the bike path.
The large portion of discussion for the evening involved the potential for an amphitheater and plaza. Many in attendance expressed support for the idea as a potential venue for concerts and festivals. Muscatine resident Sarah Lande expressed her approval, saying, “Music is the soul, and down by the river, what more could you want?”
Others in attendance expressed concern about a large structure breaking the line of vision or detracting from the view.
Muscatine resident Chad Bishop expressed support for the amphitheater and asked designers to consider all forms of performances in the design, along with music.
The proposed site of the amphitheater would be just downriver of the current basketball courts.
For the other end of the riverfront, proposed ideas include a concessions area, a fish cleaning station, a boat washing station, and a bike fixing station.
The dock would be large enough to accommodate larger paddlewheel touring boats, allowing day travelers to disembark and visit downtown Muscatine.
Freers explained the desire to give access to the water to those who choose to visit the riverfront.
No specific date is set for the improvements to begin, though Freers states he would suggest doing work incrementally, as funding and partnerships with other organizations are made available.