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Community Center Feasibility Task Force to Share Phase 1 Update to Council

After a 10-month study process, the Community Center Feasibility Task Force (CCFTF) is ready to provide an update to City Council on its work to date, findings and next steps. This presentation is scheduled for a Special Council Conference Session on Monday, June 29 beginning at 7:30 pm.

City Council formed the 16-member Task Force in the summer of 2019, in response to a key recommendation within the 2018 Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Plan for the City to revisit the issue of inadequate indoor community gathering space. This recommendation evolved as a direct result of survey findings showing strong support for investigating the potential for a community center.

The Task Force determined that the study should be conducted in two phases. In Phase 1—which is now complete—the CCFTF was seeking answers to three questions: What kind of community center makes sense for UA? Do we want a community center? Do we need a community center? If the answer to the last two questions is “YES,” the study would transition to Phase 2, drilling into details such as what facilities to include, where a community center might be located, and the costs for construction, operations and ongoing maintenance.

Early in the process, the Task Force decided their work would benefit greatly from the assistance of a consultant team experienced in conducting studies of this nature. This team is led by Williams Architects, with subconsultants OHM Advisors and PROS Consulting.

In the spirit of making sure the study is resident-driven, a critical component of Phase 1 was to involve residents as much as possible through an extensive community engagement process. This included focus groups and stakeholder interviews, community pop up activities and public meetings. In March, a statistically valid survey was fielded to provide further clarity on community sentiment about this issue.

Phase 1 of the study has also included a detailed review of existing recreation facilities and programming in the community, market trends and facilities in peer communities. This information, when combined with the feedback obtained through the community engagement activities has helped the Task Force identify at a high-level what components should be included in a community center.

The Task Force held a joint meeting with the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board on June 24 in advance of the Special Council Conference Session, to review and discuss the update for Council.

The Special Council Conference Session will be held via video-conference and will be live streamed on the City’s website and the City’s Facebook page. Residents can also log into the meeting as an attendee. Details on how to access the meeting by computer or by phone will be provided in the Conference Session Agenda.

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