Despite winter temperatures that are rendering most area park attendance from slow to nil, Director of Operations James Bryce is actively pushing to move the city's Park Planning and Design Phase forward.

Despite winter temperatures that are rendering most area park attendance from slow to nil, Director of Operations James Bryce is actively pushing to move the city's Park Planning and Design Phase forward.

During Monday's City Commission meeting, Bryce requested the city enter into contract negotiation for the parks project. Of the five proposals received, the city narrowed its search to two firms best suited to the project — in the end, CLS & Associates, LLC was chosen.

Bryce said CLS is familiar with Shawnee, having completed several projects in the area.

He said the project itself is probably going to take a little time to get up and running.

He said he will need adequate time to gather information, share ideas and get feedback, because entities with shared goals have a stake in the project and could be affected by the design.

The city is partnering with the Avedis Foundation to fuse elements of its Blue Zones project into the parks plan.

“We'll continue to work with Avedis to ensure the design of the parks system reflects the Blue Zones initiative,” he said.

At this point, Bryce said, we're just initiating the cost.

“We'll bring the contract back to the commission for approval when we are ready to begin,” he said.

The Park Design budget is $30,000.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.