Frisco Bay Marina construction continues this year with improvements to lawn area |

Frisco Bay Marina construction continues this year with improvements to lawn area

Visitors relax in the sunshine at Frisco Bay Marina during summer 2019. The town has about $680,000 in its budget for upgrades to the marina this year.
Todd Powell/Town of Frisco

The Frisco Bay Marina has been undergoing renovations since the town officially cut the ribbon on the Big Dig project in 2019. Progress is continuing as Frisco Town Council approved the general design and scope of second-phase elements after a presentation from Norris Design and Stais Architecture & Interiors at a work session Tuesday, Feb. 8.

Parts of the second phase of the project that are already underway include the sewer lift station, utility work, the office and boater services building, and the fuel system. The remaining items include landscaping and site work required to complete the access, circulation and planting improvements in the area around the new office building, the Island Grill, the beach and the dock area.

“With all of these new elements, we want to make sure that we’re integrating everything well and allowing people to move easily and intuitively through the site,” Community Development Planner Susan Lee said.

The 2022 improvements are relatively simple since only about $680,000 is budgeted for the year. Stais Architecture is estimating the year’s projects to cost $653,775, with $448,500 of that for landscaping, $155,250 for hardscape (or landscape-adjacent items like sidewalks) and $50,025 for site furnishings.

The work takes place on the 3 acres of land next to Dillon Reservoir and east of the Island Grill and Lund House that were created during the Big Dig.

“That big dirt area, let’s get it usable,” Matt Stais of Stais Architecture said. “That’s what we’re thinking would be the priority.”

Designs for the area focus on a large lawn, shaded seating and path improvements. Future additions could include a new playground near the beach area and a small pavilion near the boat ramp, but the lawn is at the center of the plan. Tentatively called the Grays and Torreys Lawn because it looks out to the prominent peaks, the green space is larger than the previous Great Lawn.

Megan Testin of Norris Design said one of their priorities is to make the lawn meaningful for sporadic visits as well as planned community celebrations.

“This space is designed to be as flexible as possible to host larger events or just allow the casual user to be here at all times of the year,” Testin said. “We want to make sure this becomes the heart of the user space and the area where we want people to be able to congregate and enjoy that.”

The lawn will be made from real turf instead of artificial. Testin said they weighed the pros and cons of each and found they can use a water-efficient turf with high-quality topsoil to keep irrigation under control. She added that artificial turf is four to six times more expensive initially and that the size of the lawn means irrigation is recommended to maintain and cool the artificial turf.

However, marina guests won’t see any Grays and Torreys Lawn turf — real or artificial — this summer. Stais said a bid for the work could happen in the spring, and the majority of the work would begin in the fall after the high season.

“It’s a great piece of real estate,” council member Rick Ihnken said. “The timeline might not be what we were hoping for, but let’s move in that direction.”

Council member Melissa Sherburne said she would like to see more permanent or reusable fixtures rather than loose seating or other items scattered or congregated sporadically.

Mayor Pro Tem Jessica Burley added that she would want additional bike racks closer to the road, as people might not realize racks are available near the water and could abandon their bikes beforehand. Burley also requested adding more shade in the picnic area.

“It can be really intense down there, and when you have a big, open area — a lot of folks are visitors, and they’ll come and buy an umbrella for a day, and then they throw it out because that’s what they do,” Burley said. “Unless we’re renting umbrellas and promoting that down there, I think we need to provide that for people so that there isn’t a need to purchase and throw away.”

Council directed staff to work with Stais Architecture to prepare construction documents for solicitation of a contractor.

Planned improvements to the Frisco Bay Marina this year, circled in red, focus primarily on the proposed Grays and Torreys Lawn. If a contractor is selected in the spring, work could begin in the fall.
Town of Frisco/Courtesy map


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