An area firm with strong Derby ties has been selected to design the city’s dinosaur park.

WDM Architects of Wichita will be creating the blueprints that a contractor will use to build the attraction known as Field Station: Dinosaurs, due to open next summer.

Scott Ramser, principal with the company, confirmed that an agreement between it and developer Guy Gsell has been reached between the two parties and the work will begin soon.

“He [Gsell] asked for proposals from a couple of different firms, and he let us know that he selected us,” Ramser said.

Gsell will meet with the WDM team in a few weeks and get the work underway.

Value of the contract was undisclosed.

WDM is quite familiar with Derby, having designed its Madison Avenue Central Park and its latest park, Warren Riverview. It also has extensive experience in zoo work, and is now working on projects in Phoenix and Cleveland.

Of course, the dinosaur park will not have live animals, but many of the concepts will be similar to zoos, he said. That, along with its experiences in parks, “kind of bridges the gap,” he said.

“We’re trying to create a lot of the same atmosphere [of a zoo],” he said.

Gsell recently said he wants the park to open next summer.

No firm dates have been set on the project, but that will be part of the meetings in a few weeks. “We will be figuring out what those deadlines are,” he said.

Ramser said it will be a challenge to get all work done in the next few months, but it may be possible for a contractor to begin work before the entire design is complete, a practice employed in the trade to tighten up total work time.

No contractor has been yet named to build the project.

The creative and unique aspects of the project will make it fun to work on, Ramser said.

The dino park designers will include some of the same staff that worked on the Central Park project, he said, which has been well received by residents and city staff alike.

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