A significant recommendation that emerged as a direct result of community feedback from the 2018 Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Plan is for the City to revisit the issue of inadequate indoor community gathering space. Most notably, the findings of a statistically valid survey indicated that 81% of respondents supported a feasibility study on a multi-generational indoor recreation facility. The plan also brought to light that a number of recreation and leisure components desired by residents are currently lacking in UA—components that would typically be found within a community center.
In July, City Council established a 16-resident-member Community Center Feasibility Task Force (CCFTF) to guide this process. At its August 19 meeting, Council approved the appointment of Margie Pizzuti and Nick Lashutka to serve as co-chairs for the Task Force.
Since beginning to meet, the Task Force has determined that the process would be best served by securing the professional assistance of a consultant team experienced in conducting feasibility studies of this nature. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued by the City in early September, with a deadline of September 23.
A subcommittee of the Task Force will review and make a recommendation back to the Task Force of the Whole on the preferred consultant. This subcommittee is comprised of Greg Comfort, Nick Lashutka, Linda Mauger, Margie Pizzuti, Matthew Rule and Bill Westbrook. The subcommittee is scheduled to meet to review submissions on October 1, and to interview top candidates October 4.
Their recommendation will made to the Task Force of the Whole at its October 30 Meeting. Thereafter, the recommendation will be shared with City Council, seeking authorization for the City to enter into contract with the consultant and to begin the feasibility study process in earnest. It is anticipated that the consultant team will be on board and beginning its work with the Task Force in November.
The Task Force has also determined that it will be appropriate to form additional subcommittees to work on the following topic areas:
- Community Engagement
- Facilities & Partnerships
Co-Chairs Pizzuti and Lashutka are currently finalizing the members and Chair for each subcommittee, after asking Task Force members to indicate their areas of interest. Meeting schedules will be published as they are established.
While this initial organizational work is completed, the Task Force plans to have representatives out in the community this fall, seeking resident input. As you attend the following events, we encourage you to look for the CCFTF table/display and to speak with members to share your thoughts and ideas:
- Parks Projects Open House – 6:30 pm, Thursday, September 19, 3600 Tremont Road
- Fall Fest – 1-5 pm, Sunday, October 6, Fancyburg Park
- Leadership UA Candidates Night – 6 pm, Thursday, October 10, 3600 Tremont Road. CCFTF members will be on hand to speak with residents during the networking hour in the Concourse.
- UA Senior Center Current Events Group – 2-4 pm, Tuesday, November 26, 1945 Ridgeview Road.
The work of the Task Force is expected to run into 2020, with the goal of presenting the findings and recommendations back to City Council in the spring or early summer. Please watch for updates on this exciting process and how you can be involved. Click here for full details, including the meeting schedule.