Our Approach

If you haven’t had time to visit one of Confluence’s office locations recently, visit this area to see what we have been up to lately. This is your window into our world, and provides a glimpse into “in-progress” projects and initiatives currently underway throughout our network of offices.

  • Rock Island Corridor

    August 21, 2017

    Confluence is currently collaborating with Burns and McDonnell and TranSystems on the Rock Island Corridor. The corridor is being transformed from an old rail line to a multi-use trail from the Kansas City stadiums down to Lee’s Summit.

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    • Confluence has been tasked with developing the trailheads for the project.  The Raytown trailhead illustrates the opportunities to create a destination and spark up some transportation oriented development. For more information, click here.

  • Champions Ridge / Waverly, Iowa

    July 29, 2017

    Confluence is collaborating with a team of dedicated community members to create a master plan and design for a new 80-acre fairground for Bremer County.

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    • The project has passed major hurdles earlier this year, with the City of Waverly expressing support for the project and approving land purchases.

      Champions Ridge Website

  • Hawk Ridge Park

    June 2, 2017

    Confluence was selected as part of a multi-disciplinary team to lead the implementation of the first phase of the Hawk Ridge Park Master Plan creating a signature park facility for the City of Raymore, Missouri.

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    • Phase I park improvements include an amphitheater to accommodate gatherings and festivals, an inclusive playground designed for all generations, shelter with restrooms, loop trail, and accessible dock and fishing jetty allowing for access to the lake edge. When completed in the first quarter of 2018, this facility will expand upon the vision established in the Master Plan to provide residents with opportunities for extended visits and gathering spaces fulfilling the needs of the City for signature parks and recreational facilities.

  • Lincoln Children’s Zoo

    May 16, 2017

    Design work for a Lincoln Children’s Zoo expansion is running at a cheetah’s pace towards the finish line at the end of May.

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    • Funny man Larry the Cable Guy has been the face of fundraising and a signature donor for this $12 million dollar expansion of the Zoo which will include a new Lincoln Public Schools education facility, gift shop, donor wall, amphitheater, naturalized runnel water feature, Red Panda exhibit, Giraffe barn and feeding deck, and Tiger exhibit. Construction is underway and should be completed in the Spring of 2019!

  • Embracing the River

    April 10, 2017

    Our Minneapolis office has been helping the City of St.Cloud, Minnesota plan for how to embrace the Mississippi River after years of turning downtown’s back on it. Check out Minnesota Public Radio’s take on it.

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    • The Mississippi River winds right through the middle of town but the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota (just north of Minneapolis) hasn’t always embraced it. For years, buildings literally turned their backs on the river with their entrances directly on the other side and no real access to the river for anyone. But civic leaders asked Confluence to help them with a vision for changing all that.

      Terry Minarik and his staff in the Minneapolis office came up with several options for creating a linear park, giving people access to the river and reconnecting a river town to one of the great American rivers. City and business leaders see this as just the first step in a new generation of downtown development and recreation opportunities in St. Cloud.

      Click here to go to the article.

       

  • BluHawk Mixed-Use Development

    February 9, 2017

    Confluence is working with Price Brothers to create a master plan for a vibrant 300-acre mixed-use development project in Overland Park, Kansas.

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    • This project is anticipated to include retail commercial, office, hotel, and restaurant uses anchored by unique entertainment destinations.  The client’s multi-disciplinary team is continuing their work to refine plans for the project, which are slated to include a Kansas Cosmosphere museum and other unique attractions.

      Confluence is responsible for collaborating on the creation of the overall development planning including developing an overall theme to guide site hardscape and landscape enhancements, amenities, and development features, including a comprehensive development signage program for the entire project.

  • OP Arboretum

    June 24, 2016

    In collaboration with MOMENTA, we are developing a conceptual master plan for the OPABG visitors center, an entry gateway and gallery, amphitheater, pavilions, seating niches and enhanced landscape.

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    • Confluence is excited to be a part of the design team developing the conceptual master plan for the next phase of the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This proposed expansion to the arboretum includes parking and entry drive expansion; a visitors center featuring several outdoor patios, terraces and promenade adjacent to a pond expansion; garden spaces; a wedding and event lawn; and a series of reflecting pools that cascade along a central promenade. In addition to the proposed gardens and visitors center expansion, the project will also implement the first phase of the International Sculpture Garden to include an entry gateway and gallery; amphitheater; pavilions; seating niches; and enhanced landscape.

      Click here to watch the video.

  • Fourth and Court

    May 20, 2016

    Des Moines’ first downtown grocery store, part of the Fourth and Court mixed-used development will feature a rooftop patio for the residents of the apartments located above the store

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    • Confluence is involved in the Design of the four-story grocery store and apartment complex which will be called Fourth + Court. (It’s located at the corner of Court Avenue and Fourth Street.) The building will feature a 35,000-square-foot grocery store on the ground floor, 81 apartments on the upper floors and a two-level parking garage in the rear. There will also be a Confluence-designed rooftop terrace for residents in the rear of the building with grills, seating and a lawn.

  • Colfax North Park

    April 22, 2016

    The Colfax North Park will transform a former quarry into a 480-acre multi-use outdoor park and recreation facility with economic development opportunities

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    • The Colfax Park North Park was donated by Martin Marietta in April of 2014 to the City of Colfax, IA. It was formerly a sand & gravel quarry but closed several years ago. The Colfax Park & Recreation Auxilliary Board is a public agency of volunteers, working to meet the recreational needs of the growing Colfax community.

      Confluence is working with the Auxiliary Board to develop a master plan for the site. Ideas discussed include: cable park; RV and primitive camping; trails; beach; indoor shooting range; park lodge; retail and a hotel site.

      A stakeholder meeting was held in December 2015 to gather initial ideas and input and additional opportunities for community and stakeholder engagement are anticipated.

  • Jackson Crossing

    April 8, 2016

    A joint venture between a Des Moines nonprofit and private developers will result in a new 244-unit apartment complex south of downtown Des Moines called Jackson Crossing.

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    • Confluence is part of a multi-disciplinary team led by INVISION involved in the development of Jackson Crossing (formerly Dunham Square), an approximately 5.5-acre, 244-unit, multi-family apartment complex in Des Moines, Iowa. Consisting of three 4-story residential buildings, this project is the first major redevelopment in the 2Rivers District on the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. The character of the site respects surrounding single-family residential properties, but is also a distinctly original type of multi-family development for the Des Moines area.

      Indoor wash stations for dogs and bicycles encourage an active lifestyle and healthy community. A centrally-located outdoor amenity space encourages a sense of community and interaction between residents. The space includes an enclosed dog park, raised community gardening planters and trellis structures, lounge seating, fire pits and gas grills.

  • Burlington Corridor Complete Street Design

    October 27, 2015

    Confluence is leading a team to identify recommended improvements for the Burlington Corridor Complete Street Design. The goal of this effort is to create a destination district served by all modes of transportation.

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    • The City of North Kansas City and Mid-America Regional Council are working with a Confluence-led design team, to identify recommended improvements for the Burlington Corridor Complete Street Design. The goals of this project include:

      – Transform the corridor’s physical appearance – embracing the existing industrial character to strengthen NKC’s authentic sense of place.

      – Support future private-sector revitalization and redevelopment activities throughout the corridor through sustainable infrastructure investment and beautification.

      – Integrate all modes of transportation into the future vision for the corridor – including vehicles, transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

      The project builds on previous and on-going City studies. Community engagement is an important part of this project, and opportunities for the City’s Advisory Committee and North Kansas City residents/business owners to provide input have been integrated into our team’s design process. The plan is anticipated to be completed in early 2016.

  • Olathe Park Master Plans

    September 11, 2015

    We were recently selected to develop master plans for Olathe’s Cedar Lake and Lake Olathe Parks. The project will include a rigorous public engagement process, resulting in facilities and programs unique to the metro area.

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    • Confluence has been retained to lead a multi-disciplinary team to develop two park master plans for the City of Olathe, Kansas. Cedar Lake is a 129-acre community park acquired by the City in 1920. The 75-acre lake was the first water source for the community. Lake Olathe Park is a 378-acre community park containing a 170 acre lake. This park was purchased by the City in 1959 and provided the City’s main water source until 2005.

      As part of the process, Confluence will lead a rigorous public engagement process, resulting in master plans that provide the residents of Olathe with facilities and programs that are unique within the metro area. When the master plans are completed in early 2016, Confluence will begin final design for both parks with construction of the $13 million project scheduled to begin in mid-2016.

       

       

       

       

       

  • 420 Court

    August 26, 2015

    Construction has started on a new full-service Hy-Vee in Des Moines’ historic Court Avenue District. The project also includes a residential tower providing market rate apartments and an adjacent parking structure.

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    • Confluence is part of the multi-disciplinary team designing a new mixed-use building to be located on what is now a city-owned parking lot along Court Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets in Des Moines’ Court Avenue Historic District. The project will included a 35,000-square foot Hy-Vee grocery store on the main level to include laundry service, a coffee shop (tentatively expected to be a Starbucks) and a Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurant with outdoor seating along Court Avenue. A residential tower is planned above the food store providing approximately 80 market rate apartments. Surface parking is being provided as well as 107-stall parking ramp, located south of the building. Stormwater detention is planned to be underground. The delivery/loading dock is located off of 5th Street at the southwest corner of the building. The food store will be accessed by main doors at both the north and south sides of the building as wells as secondary entries along Court and 4th Street. Access to the residential units is provided off at the northwest corner of the building along 5th Street as well as at the southeast corner of the building along 4th Street.

  • Diamond Creek Trail

    July 31, 2015

    The Diamond Valley Trail Spur project is part of the City of Sioux Falls’ multi-phase plans to expand the recreational trail system and create safe connections between an existing community wide recreational trail loop and outlying neighborhoods.

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    • This project includes 0.52 miles of new trail from the Old Yankton Trail Bridge at Farmfield Park on West 57th Street to S. Western Avenue, including a bike and pedestrian underpass at W. 57th Street using an existing box culvert that was specifically designed and constructed for use as an underpass.

       

       

  • The C2C Plan

    July 1, 2015

    This community-focused plan will establish a physical and policy-based long range plan to guide growth and development in Story County, IA over the next 20 years.

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    • Confluence is part of a multi-disciplinary team being led by MSA Professional Services retained to assist Story County, Iowa in developing a Coordinated Long Range Plan known as The C2C Plan: From Cornerstone to Capstone, to serve as a roadmap to guide growth and development over the next 20 years. This effort builds on the County’s comprehensive work over the past 50+ years.

      The plan will focus on housing; economic development; transportation; service, community facilities and infrastructure; environmental and natural resources; land use; fringe area planning; and intergovernmental cooperation.

      An important component of the planning process is community and stakeholder engagement. A series of public meetings have been held throughout the County and an online survey is available here to allow residents to provide their thoughts and opinions on a range of topics. A website has been developed for the project and the planning team and County are also using social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter to disseminate information.

       

       

  • Whiterock Conservancy

    May 29, 2015

    Confluence has been assisting in the planning and design of an extensive 30 mile trail system. The first phase of the project recently opened and other segments are now under construction.

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    • For several years, Confluence has been assisting Whiterock Conservancy in the planning and design of an extensive trail system on their property near Coon Rapids. The first phase of the trail recently opened and other segments are now under construction.

      The project consists of 18 miles of 3’ wide single track natural surface trail; 6 miles of 4’ wide surfaced horse trail; 2 miles of 8’ wide surfaced double track trail and 12 miles of mown trail. The project also includes three armored stream crossings, stream bank restoration, boardwalks and bridges.

      Whiterock Conservancy is an Iowa non-profit, 501(c)(3), land trust dedicated to conserving and protecting Iowa’s natural resources and engaging the public with the environment through outdoor recreation and education.

       

  • Coralville West Land Use Area

    May 18, 2015

    Confluence is leading the visioning; market analysis; and development of a master plan, land use plan, zoning overlay and design guidelines for this important growth area. The community is encouraged to participate through a series of public meetings and workshops.

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    • Confluence is leading a multi-disciplinary planning team to assist the City of Coralville, Iowa in building upon the recently adopted 2014 Coralville Community Plan by establishing a clear vision for the future of the West Land Use Area. The West Land Use Area is located between I-380 and Coral Ridge Avenue/Highway 965, south of Forevergreen Road, and north of I-80.

      The plan includes visioning; a market analysis to determine demand and absorption rates for housing, office, and retail space; a conceptual master plan and refined land use plan; and design guidelines and zoning overlay. This plan will also ensure that infrastructure and water distribution, sanitary sewer collection, and storm water drainage utilities are developed to meet future needs.

      Community input is an important component in establishing the vision for this area and the planning team has already facilitated several public meetings to allow community members to contribute ideas about the future of this important growth area. Meeting formats have included open houses, presentations and the use of keypad polling to gather the community’s preferences on various aspects of the development.

       

  • Putting the PARK in parking space

    April 29, 2015

    The Confluence/Structura designed parklet is ready to return for the summer of 2015 but it needs a home!

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    • During the summer of 2013, Confluence partnered with Structura, a local site furnishing fabricator, to create Kansas City’s first “Parklet” which is designed to transform an on-street parking space into a vibrant pedestrian amenity. The project incorporates wood decking, bench seating, solar powered lighting and low maintenance landscaping that extend the sidewalk experience to provide a unique opportunity for customer seating and PR opportunities.

      From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the parklet was installed in front of YJ’s Snack Bar at 18th and Wyandotte in Kansas City’s Crossroads Art District and attracted patrons and media attention from across the metro area. In 2014, the parklet was located in front of The Brick at 1727 McGee and will soon be ready for another season of use. We are seeking applications from businesses interested in hosting the parklet for the 2015 season. Click here for more information.

       

       

       

  • Carroll Corridor of Commerce

    April 16, 2015

    Confluence is currently working on plans for the eighth phase of streetscape improvements in downtown Carroll, Iowa.

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    • Confluence originally prepared a master plan for Carroll, Iowa’s Corridor of Commerce in 2003. Since that time, we have been involved in seven phases of implementation. The City Council recently approved a contract for design work for Phase 8 which will extend the improvements along Main Street from the Union Pacific Railroad lines to Fifth Street and the east and west sides; West Street from Fifth Street to Seventh Street on the east and west sides; and Fifth Street from West Street to Carroll Street on the north side. Bid-letting is scheduled for May with a construction start scheduled in June.

       

  • Kuhnert Arboretum

    April 3, 2015

    The City of Aberdeen received a grant to build the first phase of a children’s garden, to include nature play elements, at the Kuhnert Arboretum.

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    • The Aberdeen Parks and Recreation department was awarded a $20,000 grant from the 3M Foundation to develop the Children’s Garden Area at the Kuhnert Arboretum. As identified in the Confluence-developed Arborteum Master Plan, the Children’s Garden consists of a space filled with natural components organized to encourage structured and unstructured play and learning. More specifically, this nature space will foster an early connection for children with nature and promote future environmental stewardship, provide an opportunity for physical and creative children activities, and support children’s physical, intellectual, and socio-emotional development.

  • North Scott Corridor

    March 27, 2015

    The City of Belton, Missouri selected Confluence to lead a community-driven planning process to establish a unifying vision for the future of this important two mile corridor.

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    • The two-mile North Scott Corridor serves as the northern gateway into the City of Belton from the adjacent US 49 Highway Corridor. However, the physical appearance and mixture of land uses along the corridor needs significant revitalization.

      The City of Belton selected Confluence to facilitate a community-driven planning process to establish a unifying vision for the future of this important corridor. An Advisory Committee was engaged in a series of collaborative meetings to explore alternative land uses, future configuration options for the roadway, and opportunities for enhancement and revitalization. Opportunities for community input were also integrated, with two public meetings and online opportunities for comments and ideas to be shared, culminating in consensus and unanimous adoption by the City of Belton’s City Council.

      The plan calls for future land use along the corridor, enhancement of the streetscape character, a new gateway arrival area at the 155th Street interchange, strengthened connections to emerging retail areas to the east, provision of future green space, and creation of design guidelines to enhance future development quality and character.

  • Milbank Avera Community Hospital

    March 11, 2015

    This new facility will provide an environment that is inviting and patient-friendly with easy way-finding and additional space for outreach specialty care.

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    • Confluence is working with Perspective on the Avera Milbank Area Hospital & Clinic Replacement Facility. Located on an 18 acre site, the 77,250 square foot facility will include 29 exam rooms, 13 inpatient rooms, laboratory, pharmacy, surgery center, dialysis, emergency department, radiology, and heliport. The new facility will provide an environment that is inviting and patient-friendly with easy to use way-finding and additional space for outreach specialty care. The goals of the new facility include quality patient care and a focus on technology. The new facility is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2016.

  • Southern Vistas Park

    January 23, 2015

    Plans are currently out for bid on a new neighborhood park on the west side of Sioux Falls next to Pettigrew Elementary.

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    • Southern Vistas Park is a planned neighborhood park on a 7 acre site adjacent to the R.F. Pettigrew Elementary School on the west side of Sioux Falls. The park will be constructed and maintained under a joint agreement between the City Parks & Recreation Department and the Sioux Falls School District. Confluence recently completed construction documents and is currently assisting our client with the bidding process.

      Planned park amenities include a half-mile looped concrete walking trail, flex field recreational open space, a new chain link backstop, park picnic shelter, drinking fountain, park signage, bike racks, accessible bench seating areas, additional trees and areas of low maintenance landscape plantings, and interpretive education nodes with stamped concrete pavement.  The park will provide neighborhood gathering spaces, additional sports team after hours practice space, as well as expanded educational opportunities and recess space for adjacent Pettigrew elementary school children.

      Bids are due at the end of January, with park construction scheduled to commence at the end of the 2014/15 school year. The new park is scheduled to be substantially complete and ready for enjoyment in time for the start of the Fall 2015 school year.  An R.F. Pettigrew school addition and playground expansion is also currently under construction by the Sioux Falls School District.

  • KSU Seaton Hall

    December 15, 2014

    Confluence is involved in a major expansion and renovation of Seaton Hall which houses Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning + Design.

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    • As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Confluence is leading the site design and landscape architecture for a major expansion and renovation of Seaton Hall which houses Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning and Design. The anticipated $75 million, single-phase project will demolish, renovate, expand and preserve portions of the east wing of Seaton Hall and Mechanic’s Hall. The project also involves the creation of a new, iconic entrance for the College as well as the provision of flexible pedestrian gathering spaces designed for demonstration, research, sustainability, and interaction with the entire University.

  • 6th Avenue Corridor

    November 21, 2014

    Confluence is developing pedestrian friendly, artistic and sustainable corridor improvements to revitalize this historic area of Des Moines.

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    • Confluence, together with the City of Des Moines and the non-profit 6th Avenue Corridor, recently presented the conceptual design for the 6th Avenue streetscape to area residents, stakeholders, and the public. Participants viewed renderings and plan graphics for the corridor and also offered thoughts about the progress to date. In the coming weeks and months, Confluence will continue to refine the design in preparation for a joint effort with the City of Des Moines to develop a series of phased documents to begin construction in the corridor.

      Design components include:

      • Implementation of a “road diet” to better suit multiple modes of transportation, including walking, biking, and vehicular traffic. Currently a 5-lane roadway within 60-66’ right-of-way, the diet proposes to reduce the number of lanes to three (including one two-way-left-turn lane) to widen pedestrian space on both sides of the corridor.

      • Integration of green infrastructure at intersections to capture and filter storm water prior to entry into a newly updated storm sewer system.

      • Installation of public art at intersections and other key areas to tell a cultural or historical story of 6th Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood.

       

  • Kettlestone Design Guidelines

    August 19, 2014

    Confluence is currently developing Design Guidelines for Waukee, Iowa’s new Kettlestone District.

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    • After developing the Kettlestone Master Plan, Confluence has been retained to assist Waukee in the preparation of development guidelines and standards to guide development of approximately 1,300 acres of development known as “Kettlestone”. The project is intended to add 7,000 new homes, apartments and townhomes; 5.5 million square feet of office space and 3.8 million square feet of retail space to the area.

      In addition to the design standards, Confluence will assist the City in review of development proposals for plan compliance as they are received. Confluence has also been retained to assist in the formation on overlay zoning districts and to provide suggestions as necessary for development plan submittals to maintain the vision set forth in the master plan.

  • Summer Slim Down

    August 4, 2014

    Downtown Sioux Fall’s Main Ave. is going on a diet to improve the pedestrian experience. One driving lane and the parallel parking stalls have temporarily been replaced with diagonal parking and pedestrian amenities.

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      This summer, downtown Sioux Fall’s Main Avenue is going on a diet to improve the pedestrian experience. One driving lane and the parallel parking stalls have temporarily been converted to diagonal parking stalls. This reconfiguration adds 80 parking spaces, shortens pedestrian crossing distances and creates space for pedestrian amenities including benches, planters, public art, trees, and more. Midblock platforms also have been installed to provide additional public seating and dining spaces.

      This pilot project is the first of its kind in Sioux Falls and is, in part, in response to recent public input. Throughout the installation, the City will seek public input on the “road diet”. Depending on the results, permanent changes could be implemented in the future.

       

       

       

  • Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building

    July 22, 2014

    The University of Iowa’s first green roof was recently installed on the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building in Iowa City, Iowa.

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    • Confluence is working with Rohrbach Associates, PC of Iowa City, IA and Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects, LLC of New York, NY on the design of the University of Iowa Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building. The six story building will house both wet and dry research labels, the Iowa Institute of Biomedical Imaging and an animal care unit. The project was designed to achieve LEED gold level certification and will feature the first green roof on the University of Iowa campus.

      The 6,440 square foot LiveRoof® Deep System green roof features 5 unique yellow, green, red, and pastel sedum base mixes with a variety of accents including hostas, rudbeckia, alliums, and liatris.

      You can see the progress that occurred between June 6 and 18 on the project’s webcam site (click on the calendar to change views)

      http://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/pbi/building/webcam.html

  • Waukee is branding Alice’s Road

    April 10, 2014

    Confluence has been working with the City of Waukee, Iowa on a master plan and a new brand for development along the Alice’s Road Corridor.

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    • Waukee city officials will discuss the details of the Alice’s Road corridor master plan and the new brand for the entire corridor development at 3 p.m. April 16 at the Waukee High School auditorium. The presentation will include an update of the construction projects in the corridor, a review of the master plan details, the unveiling of the new corridor brand, the introduction of a website dedicated to the development of the corridor, and an overview of how the Waukee school district’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) can benefit future businesses on the corridor.

  • Whiterock Trail Design

    March 18, 2014

    Confluence is assisting with bidding and negotiation for the largest natural surface trail project in Iowa to date. When complete in fall 2014, the project will add over 25 miles of single track and equestrian trails.

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    • Confluence is part of a multi-disciplinary team responsible for the design and development of a design a 30-mile long “soft” trail network to replace the eroding, poorly marked and, in some places, non-existent “trails” currently used by hikers and equestrians. The project, the largest of its kind in the State of Iowa to date, will add approximately 18 miles of 3’ wide, single track natural surface trail; 5 miles of 4’ wide, rock surfaced horse trail; and 1.5 miles of 8’ wide rock surface Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV)/horse trail. In addition, approximately 8 miles of 12’ wide mown trail will wind through pasture. Trail amenities include river access points, wildlife viewing infrastructure, wilderness campsite development, and additional interpretative signage and habitat improvements.

      Whiterock Conservancy, is a non-profit land trust whose mission is to find balance between agriculture and the environment, while involving the public in both. The Conservancy stewards more than 5,000 acres of mixed-use land along the Middle Raccoon River. For more information, please visit www.whiterockconservancy.org.

  • Kuhnert Arboretum

    December 10, 2013

    The Kuhnert Arboretum is a 19.2-acre area along Moccasin Creek that was among 50 acres of land purchased by the city of Aberdeen in 1969. The original plan in 1974 was to create an area that featured every type of tree that grows in South Dakota. Today, it features a gazebo, nature area and public garden space and provides learning opportunities for residents of all ages.

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    • The Kuhnert Arboretum is a 19.2-acre area along Moccasin Creek that was among 50 acres of land purchased by the city of Aberdeen in 1969. The original plan in 1974 was to create an area that featured every type of tree that grows in South Dakota. Today, it features a gazebo, nature area and public garden space and provides learning opportunities for residents of all ages.  

      The Arboretum offers environmental education about:

      • Native plant ecosystems
      • Prairie community environments
      • Species of trees and shrubs grown in the area
      • Water systems
      • Wetland communities

      Click here to read more about the project.

  • Excelsior Springs Community Center

    November 17, 2013

    Confluence is part of the consultant team working with the Excelsior Springs, Missouri Parks and Recreation department to shape a potential community recreation center.

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    • Citizens are asked to participate in the planning process for a potential community recreation center in Excelsior Springs, Missouri by providing input. The site being considered is located south of the high school and north of Century Park. A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6-7:30pm at The Montgomery, 425 Thompson Avenue. The same day, a community engagement website will launch to allow citizens to engage, communicate and collaborate with community decision makers, other residents and the consultant team and help in shaping the future community center.  Please visit the website at growESMO.MINDMIXER.COM.

  • In Progress: Olathe Community Center

    September 19, 2013

    Confluence is part of the design team for the new Olathe Community Center and Stagecoach Park master plan.

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    • The building is located within the existing park and care was taken to retain many of the existing mature trees. Currently, the lazy river is being constructed inside the building and the exterior is being skinned with limestone cladding. Throughout the site, parking lots and sidewalks are being poured in preparation for shelter construction and playground installation.

  • In Progress: Kansas City Downtown Streetcar

    August 9, 2013

    Confluence is part of the consultant team currently working on the design of the new Kansas City Downtown Streetcar.

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    • This two-mile north-south streetcar starter line will run through downtown, connecting the River Market on the north to Union Station and Crown Center on the south. The modern, electric streetcar vehicles will operate within existing street lanes with stops occurring approximately every two blocks. Confluence has collaborated with the design team to develop prototype design options for station/platform design and integrate them into the surrounding urban setting. On Thursday, August 1, the Kansas City Streetcar Authority approved the final design for streetcar stops and platforms.

      The streetcar is scheduled to become operational in the summer of 2015.

  • Just Completed: Holocaust Memorial

    June 28, 2013

    Confluence collaborated with the Jewish Federation of Iowa to complete the Iowa Holocaust Memorial located on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol. The memorial was built in memory of the Holocaust victims, in gratitude to Iowans who, as members of the United States Armed Forces, liberated concentration camps and in honor of the over 100 Holocaust survivors who ended up living in Iowa.

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    • The original concept was the result of a design competition involving Iowa State University design students. Confluence was then retained  to assist in design development and construction documentation. Throughout the process, the project went through several design iterations and was ultimately approved by the Capitol Planning Commission.

      The memorial consists of a series of four aluminum wall panels featuring inscriptions and photographs. The panels were designed in collaboration with Dimensional Innovations, a fabrication and innovation firm located near Kansas City. The Jewish Federation of Iowa provided text and quotes to Confluence who was responsible for the final layout and graphic design of the panels.

      Confluence’s commitment continued throughout construction, with staff assisting in the installation of sod, seed and plantings. The project was completed in late June of 2013. We are proud to say we were part of this meaningful project which will be viewed by many at the annual Yankee Doodle Pops festival held the evening of July 3 on the capital grounds.

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  • In Progress: 801 Grand Avenue Waterproofing & Site Renovation

    May 24, 2013

    Confluence was retained by the Principal Group and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to redesign the existing plaza on all sides of 801 Grand in Des Moines. In addition, with the plaza leaking into an underground parking deck, Confluence was charged with providing a water-tight solution and retained SGH to provide waterproofing expertise as the Plaza gets a facelift.

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    • With the plaza renovation, Confluence proposed a new emphasis on a better front door entry to 801 Grand. The re-design incorporates new granite paving, an expanded outdoor terrace, granite planters and curbs, new signage design, new railings, and a drop-off lane with corresponding ‘bump-outs’ on Grand Avenue. These streetscape ideas will be carried west a few blocks to better tie-in the streetscape of Gateway West and the 801 block.

      Confluence worked closely with JE Dunn, tenants and Owner’s team to phase in the construction to best accommodate access throughout the duration of the project.This $8 million renovation will start construction in March of 2013 and will be complete by December of 2013.

       

  • In Progress: Jawhawk Boulevard

    May 6, 2013

    Confluence is assisting a multi-disciplinary design team to update the historic core of The University of Kansas campus, Jayhawk Boulevard.

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    • As a part of reconstruction of this historic, multi-modal boulevard, Confluence is restoring the boulevard landscape to embrace the original landscape intent as designed in the 1920’s. A number of buildings along Jayhawk Boulevard were recently placed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places and are awaiting consideration by the National Register of Historic Places. The plans for Jayhawk Boulevard take into account the broader historic campus landscape and extraordinary view sheds originally conceived by George Kessler and Henry Wright in 1904, all while accommodating the needs of the modern University. As part of the project, Confluence also proposed and conceptually designed an entry experience on the western end of the boulevard that formally announces your arrival to Jayhawk Boulevard. Conceptual plans for the corridor were completed in November 2012 and implementation of the initial phase of improvements is currently in progress to be completed in summer 2013.

  • In Progress: Walnut Street Streetscape

    April 22, 2013

    The City of Des Moines and Downtown Community Alliance are pleased to invite the community to the unveiling of the final streetscape concept for Walnut Street on Monday, April 29, 2013, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Downtown Public Library, 1000 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. The consultant team will give a presentation at noon, followed by a question and answer session.

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    • Confluence is leading a multi-disciplinary team in preparing a streetscape improvement plan, along with a retail strategy and merchandising plan for the Walnut Street Corridor in downtown Des Moines. The team won the highly competitive commission with a mix of local design talent bolstered by urban media and a retail strategy consultant.

      Historically, Walnut Street was bustling with pedestrians, shopping and vehicular traffic which in recent years have been replaced by vacant store fronts and noisy bus traffic. The goal of the project, which stretches from 2nd Street to 10th Street, is to re-introduce Walnut Street as a memorable connection and destination to draw visitors and residents back to downtown while also maximizing the City’s dollars in infrastructure improvements. The Confluence team has held a series of focus group and public meetings to generate ideas for attracting visitors and encouraging after-hour shopping and dining by downtown employees. The Retail Market Analysis conducted by the team identified a need for 225,000 square feet of retail and restaurants in downtown Des Moines.

      The resultant plan proposes a number of improvements to the district including urban gardens, illuminated public art, on-street parking, interactive kiosks, and a streetscape framework that provides space for outdoor dining, pop-ups, and vendors. Landscape treatments are focused at intersections in an effort to maximize views to storefronts. Construction is proposed for spring 2014.

  • In Progress: West Central Valley Athletic Complex

    April 4, 2013

    Confluence is part of the multi-disciplinary team selected to provide master planning services for an athletic complex for the new West Central Valley High School in Stuart, Iowa. The scope includes a track, football, baseball and softball fields.

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    • To date, Confluence has led a series of visioning sessions with school board members to develop a final scope. The scope was then “put to the test” in the estimating phase. Ultimately, a few changes were made along with the development of several alternates to give the owner some flexibility on bid day. We are proud to say that the project came in slightly below budget and many of the alternates have been accepted.

      The grading and utilities were completed in fall 2012. The track and football stadium will be completed and ready for play in fall 2013. The baseball and softball fields will be open for competition in spring 2014. The West Central Valley Community School District will have a facility that can host district events for many years to come. The community pride exhibited throughout this project has been overwhelming. We will not miss opening night, and neither will anyone else in the district.

  • In Progress: Rock Island Corridor Study

    February 11, 2013

    The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), in conjunction with a number of local communities, created the Creating Sustainable Places initiative in 2012 which included six identified corridors within the Kansas City metropolitan region.

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    • The purpose of the Rock Island Corridor Study is to evaluate the potential economic development opportunities associated with anticipated short and long-term re-use of the inactive Rock Island rail line for trail and/or future transit use. 

      This corridor is currently inactive and privately owned, yet is being considered for acquisition to be transformed into a transit corridor linking numerous communities to each other, to the Truman Sports Complex, and eventually to Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Confluence is assisting in studying potential station area locations in several locations, including Downtown Raytown, Knobtown (350 Highway + Noland Road) – Raytown/Kansas City, View High (Interstate 470 + View High Drive) – Lee’s Summit / Kansas City, Greenwood and Downtown Pleasant Hill.

      The scope of our work includes assisting in facilitating a series of interactive community stakeholder and public meetings and charrettes, reviewing community input provided both in person and through online forums, analyzing existing conditions and review of each station area, and preparing future land planning and development concepts. These concepts include opportunities for short-term development of a trail connection along the corridor – which is anticipated to become part of Missouri’s Katy Trail network – as well as long-term transit-ready development in each of the proposed station locations. A series of meetings and coordination activities are being organized to integrate a wide range of community input from key stakeholders, agencies, and constituents along the entire corridor.

       

  • In Progress: Olathe Community Center

    December 18, 2012

    On December 15th at 10:00 am, the City of Olathe broke ground on its new 70,000 square foot community center.

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    • Confluence led the site and landscape design for this new addition to Olathe’s great parks and recreation system. In addition to community center improvements, Confluence also master planned and designed improvements for Stagecoach Park, the setting for this new facility. The first phase of park improvements will be constructed along with the new community center. We’re very proud to have been involved with this legacy project for the Olathe leadership, staff and their citizens.

  • Just Completed: Linden Square

    November 21, 2012

    When the City of Gladstone, Missouri selected Confluence to design their new destination park in the heart of the Village Center, they had a vision for creating a dynamic and flexible event space to serve their community. They had an ambitious schedule for completing the project in time for the holiday season, and anticipated it serving as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the surrounding area. With the grand opening and Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony held last night, the project has become an instant success.

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    • The design of the park incorporates a new stage and pavilion structure, an amphitheater, the Farmer’s Market, and a large central plaza space to host community festivals and events.  During the Holiday season, this plaza is transformed into an outdoor ice skating rink. The grand opening ceremony included a huge fireworks display, two children’s choir performances, live television coverage, and free skating for community residents.

      As the design for this park was underway, our design team integrated the potential for development of a future building adjacent to the park. This future was quickly realized when the City partnered with Dr. Pollina and his local children’s dentistry practice to build a new two-story office building. Now under construction and scheduled for completion in Spring 2013, this new facility will further enhance the vitality and character of Gladstone’s emerging Village Center. After the Holiday season, Linden Square’s central plaza space will host a series of concerts, programs, and events.

  • Just Completed: SDSU Design 2025 & Master Plan

    October 8, 2012

    Confluence was hired to provide a master plan for the core area of the 272 acre campus at South Dakota State University (SDSU).

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    • The master plan provides a unified vision for implementing the recommendations within multiple prior planning studies while focusing on the following:

      * Improved campus pedestrian functionality, safety, community connectivity and user experience.

      * Parking re-organization within the campus core.

      * Thoughtful incorporation of planned facility expansions.

      The recommendations within the plan established a set of planning principles for campus improvements. Final recommendations for campus improvements were summarized and a phasing plan for these improvements was established.

  • Just Completed: Clear Creek Trailhead

    October 1, 2012

    The Clear Creek Trailhead is the first trailhead constructed in the Clear Creek Greenbelt and the first official trailhead constructed in the City of Coralville. Its 1,050 square foot roof line provides shelter from the elements or a place to gather before leaving on a trail excursion.

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    • The trailhead features parking, restrooms, shelter area, and kiosk area where trail information can be posted. The trail head also features a place for people to get close to Clear Creek. A water access point allows paddlers to launch small canoes and kayaks or allows visitors to get up close to the creek and enjoy watching the water run by or the minnows playing tag in the shallows.

  • In Progress: West Central Valley Athletic Complex

    August 31, 2012

    The recently constructed high school for the West Central Valley community school district sits atop a hill on the east side of Stuart, Iowa with the remainder of the property owned by the district soon to be the home to a new football/track/soccer stadium, baseball stadium, softball stadium, and two multi-purpose practice fields.

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    • The district awarded the athletic complex protion of the project to Confluence multi-disciplinary team in the middle of June 2012. After a series of design meetings, the owner agreed on a master plan and budget. Once approved, our team completed construction documents and issued a bid set on August 2, 2012. Bids were returned on August 23, 2012 and we anticipate construction to begin on September 4, 2012. Subsequent bid packages are scheduled to go out prior to the end of September, and we look forward to a grand opening of the stadium for the first football game in the fall of 2013. Go Wildcats!!

  • Changes to Walnut Street

    August 8, 2012

    Confluence was selected as part of a multi-disciplinary team to perform a conceptual study for the redevelopment of the 10-block corridor.

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    • For more information regarding this exciting new project, please see the article from the Business Record at http://bit.ly/LUrnBW

  • In Progress: Mercy Medical Healing Gardens

    June 22, 2012

    Mercy Foundation hired Confluence to develop a sensitive outdoor space to serve their patients undergoing treatment.

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    • The ultimate goal for the space was to develop a quiet, private and safe space to aid in healing and spiritual renewal. To achieve this end, we developed an outdoor space that was carefully set into the existing natural slope to give the space greater protection from the adjacent streetscape. This change of elevation was managed by the introduction of a strong, but elegant stone retaining wall that provides the backbone for the overall design geometry. A walkway follows the strong geometry of the wall and connects two separate “rooms”. A waterfall feature begins at one end of the project and the resulting brook meanders under and alongside the walk to the gathering space and terminating water feature pool at the other end.


  • University of Iowa: Hancher Auditorium

    May 3, 2012

    Confluence, in conjunction with Balmori Associates, is in design development for the New Hancher Auditorium for the University of Iowa. The recently completed Arts Campus Master Plan has set the framework for the site design with an emphasis on sustainability and storm water management.

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    • Confluence is assisting in analyzing different LEED strategies to develop a high performance sustainable LEED certified building. Current work in progress includes building site location study, parking analysis, master grading and conceptual planting plan.

  • In Progress: Downtown River Greenway Phase II

    March 22, 2012

    With Phase I now complete, Confluence is working on Phase II of the Downtown River Green project in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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    • Construction is slated to start this summer with project completion in Spring 2013, which is in conjunction with a new hotel redevelopment project along the east bank of the river.

      This $2.5 million construction project will be located where an existing parking garage was built over the river in the 1960’s. The parking garage is being removed this spring to re-open up the river views and corridor.

      Phase II features a continuation of quartzite stone construction materials from Phase I. Also included are new steps and ramps to make the river more accessible, a wider primary river walk, interpretive signage features, lighting, landscaping, and a plaza space with a water feature.

  • In Progress: ACT Courtyard

    February 13, 2012

    Confluence is currently working with ACT (American College Testing) to redesign their central campus courtyard.

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    • The space is essentially surrounded on three sides by two buildings, the Ferguson Building framing the west and a northwest segment and the Davidson Building framing the east and northeast segment.  An underground tunnel connects the two wings. The two building complexes including the courtyard were designed and constructed in the mid 1980’s.  ACT has a very active and well funded grounds maintenance program. The entire campus is well organized, meticulously manicured and sends a strong positive message to any visitor that arrives. 

      We were asked to walk the courtyard with the client to discuss the site concerns that currently exist:

      –   Severe ground moisture problems leading to plant fatalities and plaza hardscape failures.

      –   Inadequate lighting

      –   Underuse of the courtyard by staff

      The existing courtyard geometry is neat and organized but fairly stiff. Our directive was to change the entire look and feel of the space and bring new design energy into play. The first phase of our work was to develop an overall master plan for the new courtyard. After many meetings with staff, a final design was presented to the client. The new design introduces a much more relaxed landscape architectural theme with bed lines that sweep through the space connecting walkways, tree groves and water features while providing wonderful views and inviting pleasant places to sit and enjoy the outdoors.

      We are currently nearing Design Development Phase completion and will have the final Construction Document set available for selected contractors by March 1st. Construction is currently slated to be done in early July.

  • In Progress: Big Sioux River Greenway – Phase I

    January 20, 2012

    Confluence is in full swing on the construction of Phase One of the downtown Big Sioux River Greenway in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Situated between 6th and 8th Street, the work includes reconstruction of the east bank and improvements to the west bank. Greenway upgrades include river walls, improved greenway access, gathering areas, seating, a widened trail, a new pedestrian bridge, and landscape and irrigation improvements.

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    • Current work in progress includes the design and construction of interpretive signage throughout the site. Primary locations are on a series of large stone based light piers near the central stepped river edge and at entrance nodes where the greenway interacts with the downtown community.

      The eight light piers are constructed of an 8′ tall quartzite veneer base with a 6′ tall printed graphic makrolon top.  Graphics for the lighted top include artistic renderings of native South Dakotan little bluestem and switchgrass. Mounted on the base of each stone pier is a printed high pressure laminate historical sign displaying images and interpretation of surrounding buildings, the greenway’s development, and the evolution of parks throughout Sioux Falls’ history. Further high pressure laminate signs featuring images of the greenway and falls are mounted on large slabs of quartzite at the primary entrances to the project on both north and south ends.

      Planning for Phase Two of Greenway improvements has begun, and will incorporate further interpretive signage, ADA bike and pedestrian access to the bike trail, additional river walls, and stepped river edge improvements. Phase Two construction on the east bank south of 8th Street will begin in 2012.

  • In Progress: Downtown Raytown Streetscape Design

    December 9, 2011

    Confluence was recently selected by the City to prepare a Streetscape Master Plan to guide future infrastructure improvements in Raytown’s Central Business District. The project will also integrate a phased approach for implementation.

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    • To officially kick-off the design process, Confluence led the project’s Steering Committee members on a bus tour to review several of our staff’s recent Kansas City-area streetscape projects. The weather cooperated with us, and allowed participants to “kick the tires” at several stops along the way, including:

         –  Downtown Lee’s Summit

         –  Downtown Overland Park

         –  Kansas City’s Main Street Corridor

         –  Kansas City’s Second Street Corridor

      Attendees also participated in a brief project walk-through of a portion of Raytown’s Downtown area – pointing out challenges and identifying some initial design opportunities. The day concluded with a design workshop complete with facilitated discussion and interactive activities. Design and planning work is now underway, with the Master Plan and Phase One implementation recommendations currently slated for completion in late-Spring to early-Summer 2012.

  • Just Completed: Dordt College Clock Tower

    November 14, 2011

    Confluence has led campus design and planning efforts for several enhancements and improvements to the Dordt College Campus. One of these recent improvements includes a new Clock Tower that was just completed in September 2011.

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    • Dordt College selected Confluence to develop a concept for this iconic new clock tower on the Dordt College campus with the goal of providing a landmark feature within the campus core.

      The clock tower was designed as a component to a larger, central gathering space. It marks a place where students can congregate, socialize and reflect. This plaza provides a flexible area for public gatherings, speeches and musical events. An information kiosk is positioned adjacent to the tower to provide a location for news, announcements and other information. A low wall surrounds the plaza, providing a place for student interaction. Ornamental trees and grasses surround the clock tower, grounding it to the site and creating a sense of enclosure within in the plaza.

      The design of the clock tower supports the identity of the college by honoring the faith and reflecting the mission that is at the center of the Dordt College experience. This campanile bears the hallmarks of a traditional building type; tall and slender with a strong grounded base and pronounced crown. It is anticipated that this space will become a time-honored campus landmark and place of great significance for future generations of students, faculty and alumni.

  • In-Progress: Arts Campus Master Plan

    October 20, 2011

    Confluence is collaborating with Balmori Associates of New York to develop a new master plan for the Arts Campus at the University of Iowa. Recently, our team traveled to New York to meet with the Balmori team and brainstorm ideas for this project.

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    • Since the floods of 2008, the Arts Campus has been in need of a master plan that will help mitigate flooding problems while maintaining a cohesive pedestrian friendly campus.  Confluence and Balmori Associates are currently in the preliminary stages of planning. This plan will set the framework for the construction of the new Hancher Auditorium while providing a long term vision for the area.

  • In-Progress: Whiterock Conservancy

    September 14, 2011

    Confluence is leading a team to analyze and expand the area’s existing trail system, including exploring potential trail reconstruction and providing additional trail connections and related amenities for a total 30-35 mile network near Coon Rapids, Iowa.

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    • Whiterock Conservancy is a non-profit land trust whose mission is to involve the public in finding an appropriate balance between agriculture and the environment. The Conservancy stewards more than 5,000 acres of land along the Middle Raccoon River.

      This project is unique in that Whiterock Conservancy has hired outside resource professionals to evaluate and identify interpretive opportunities for ecology, archaeology, geology and water resources. For the next nine months, scientific surveys will be conducted to establish a baseline of natural resources in the trail corridor, so that trail impacts can be measured over time. The trails will accommodate  hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and cross-country skiers while also integrating trail amenities such as river access points, wildlife viewing infrastructure, wilderness campsite development, additional interpretative signage and habitat improvements.

      Preliminary field work has been completed and a draft of the trail corridor concept is being presented at a public meeting on September 14, 2011. The concept will be finalized with input from this meeting, and construction documents are slated to be prepared for a spring 2012 bid letting – with construction anticipated in late summer/fall 2012.

  • In-Progress: Olathe Community Center + Stagecoach Park

    August 8, 2011

    Confluence is serving a key role on a multi-disciplinary team that was recently selected to design and integrate a new community center facility into Olathe’s existing Stagecoach Park. Initial stages of planning and design activities are now underway to begin shaping the future of this important park and facility.

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    • The park is already home to several community events, and will be carefully planned to continue serving the community’s needs in the future.  Among other amenities and features currently being considered, the new community center is anticipated to include indoor aquatics, fitness, recreation activities, and community meeting rooms.