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Community Center Building Committee Project Update – June 4, 2023

We’ve had a busy and productive week!  

Program Analysis & Development
At our public meeting this past Wednesday, May 31, we heard an excellent presentation from the Historic District Commission / Historical Commission, with added insight from the Friend of Modern Architecture, which will inform ICON’s work as they begin to consider building concepts and designs. 

ICON then provided an updated program need analysis, which included attendance “caps” for each activity (the maximum number of people we would accept in a program) based on more detailed participation numbers.  Their work has now brought the building program down to just over 13,000 sqft (plus an additional 7,000 sqft of renovated space for LEAP and school maintenance), which is an almost 10,000 sqft reduction from the 2018 building program.  This work is expected to represent the “up to 75% cost” option, and was accepted by the CCBC.  We will now work our way down to the “up to 50% cost” option, and then potentially back up to a higher cost option.

In response to recent questions from the public, School Supt. Becky McFall joined us to speak about how school spaces may and may not be used to house community and LEAP programming, and Magic Garden Director Lori Leo, as well as some staff and parents came to respond to suggestions that they could be relocated off campus. After discussion, the CCBC reconfirmed its assumption that all Hartwell campus stakeholders must be accounted for in our design work, either by remaining in their current location, or by being moved into comparable spaces on campus that allow them to maintain their current program.   We will be issuing a more detailed statement on this in the coming weeks.

TheCCBC is also working to review program and square footage statistics of neighboring community facilities to see how our work compares.  This will take some time, as these facilities often differ in terms of services, location and funding,  but this will ultimately assist us in in finding the “right-size” space to meet our program needs.  

Site Planning
Also at our May 31 public meeting, ICON presented updated site concepts based on staff and community feedback.  The meeting offered additional comments, and ICON will use this feedback to develop both building design and site concepts for our June 13 public forum. (Details below) 

Community Engagement
We have 2-3 more public session in June!  These sessions will focus on building design and site concepts, and ICON will spend the summer months furthering these designs for public feedback next fall.  Our fall meeting/forum schedule is not set yet, other than two important dates: State of the Town/Community Charrette on Saturday, September 30, 2023, and Special Town Meeting on Saturday, December 2.  All of our upcoming June public meetings are listed below. 

Satellite Programming
Part of our work will involve leveraging existing available town spaces.  Both PRD and COA have been using these spaces for years, and our Decentralized Programming Inventory is available on the CCBC website.  As we look to develop lower cost options, we will be exploring opportunities to lean more heavily on these satellite locations in order to manage the building program load.   

Tue June 13th – Public Forum, 7:00pm in the Hartwell Multi Purpose Room or over Zoom to present draft building designs, and solicit feedback,  ICON will then spend the summer developing these designs further, so they’ll be ready for the next round of public review in the Fall. 

Wed June 14th – Public Meeting, 7:00pm in the Town Hall Donaldson Room or over Zoom to synthesize feedback with ICON and discuss any additional feedback opportunities before the summer. 

Wed June 28 – Public Meeting (TBD), if necessary!

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