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May 19, 2019  |  

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What the Public Would Like

Published Feb. 20, 2019

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In a December 2018 survey, as part of the efforts of the Ad-Hoc Advisory Guidance Committee for the Academy School, 2,403 Madison residents were asked or went online to say which of seven proposals they’d prefer for the Academy School and for which they’d be likely to vote at referendum.

Up to 68 percent supported the community center option via the online poll and 59 percent said via the phone poll they’d be likely to vote for this option compared with less than 34 percent for any other option. What’s happened since then? The survey company, GreatBlue, made a presentation on the survey findings to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) and a packed house on Jan. 28. Based on these findings, on Feb. 11 the Board of Selectmen voted to create a five-member committee, the Ad-Hoc Academy School Community Center Design Committee, to obtain public input and to produce a design and estimated cost for the conversion to a community center. This will be done in coordination with Colliers International and QA+M Architecture, both with experience in such projects. A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 6.

This process is structured to determine what the public would like to have in a community center and to produce architectural plans and cost estimates for converting the building into a community center. The center should serve the entire community from pre-teens to teens to adults and offer space for the cultural arts, adult education, civic organizations, and business ventures, etc. We have the opportunity to produce a beautiful, dynamic, and contemporary community center while preserving a historic building in our historic district under town ownership.

I encourage your readers to be involved, stay informed, and support this effort. It’s another step toward making Madison the ideal place to live.

Dick Passero

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