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Results of Community Meeting – October 10 2017

The first public hearing was held on October 10, 2017. Consultant Carole Martin facilitated the evening. The community attendees met in small discussion groups and voiced their hopes for the future uses of the Thorne Building. The results of the community input and session one outcomes are below.

Community Input:

High level findings from recent community information and idea gathering sessions:

Community Wide Priorities

Intentionally integrate the Bennett project and the Thorne Building project into one community building master plan. Design the two with community growth, connectedness and well-being in mind. This would allow for residence, commercial and community amenities considerations.

Thorne Building Project

Community Building Priorities

Inclusion — when designing space and programming, make it accessible and welcoming — a unifying spot that increases the likelihood of inclusion and the importance of it being a priority throughout the community. Examples of inclusion in design:

  • Physical space is accessible to all.
  • Programming is available and building space is utilized days, evenings, weekends.
  • Collaborations only with organizations that have inclusion as a priority.

Forming new connections — opportunities to meet, enjoy one another, forge new and deeper relationships.

Learning — opportunities for formal instruction and learning.

Enrichment — enhancing quality of life through observing and participating in performances, discussions and exhibits.

Two generation focus — seniors and youth are priorities. Serving them separately and bringing them together in relevant and meaningful ways is vital to creating a stronger, happier and more resourceful community.

Programming Priorities

  • Community theater productions
  • Arts instruction, display, studio space
  • Film viewing
  • Community history exhibits and lectures
  • Gardens, gardening — maximizing the grounds for growing season and learning purposes
  • Technology instruction, shared space
  • Wellness
  • Child care services
  • Continuing education (literacy, food preparation, gardening, etc.)

Other Use Considerations

  • Municipal office space
  • Retail space
  • Indoor farmers market

Physical Building Considerations

  • Restore to “green building” standards
  • Consider creating a “smart” building – one that is technologically advanced to allow for greater connectivity to community and to learning opportunities

Some of the Questions the Planning Committee will Address after Community Sessions are Completed:

  • How are we defining “community” for the purposes of this project? Is it geographic — as in, Village, Town, County? If so, which or to what extent?
  • If not geography, what instead — and why?
  • Who are our primary and secondary target audiences? Why?
  • What can we learn about the intentions for the Bennett Project that will help us avoid duplication and maximize synergies between the two projects?