As promised, we’ve had a busy summer collecting data to begin to move the City Hall 2020 Project from the “brain-storming” phase — where all ideas were encouraged and welcomed — into the “evaluation” phase — where we now begin to triage ideas and sift out the probable from improbable, and possible from the impossible.
It’s still very early in the process so this is still just a preliminary analysis where we’re trying to lump the ideas into general buckets — like more affordable or more expensive buckets, more realistic or less realistic, good use or best use buckets, etc.
With the ideas in their respective buckets we should then be able to focus on the shorter list of the more affordable, most realistic, and best use buckets first for further more detailed analysis.
The goal of this process to start with as a wide of funnel of ideas as possible but to gradually narrow in on ideas that seem to offer the best answers for: What to Build? Where To Build? and Who Should Be In It?
Answer these questions right and you’ve got a great new building worthy of being called Kent City Hall for the next 50 years.
One of the tools we used to help us slice through the ideas was a community survey.
We had a phone, online, and hard copy survey completed this summer that offered insights into what the community considers the most important elements of the project.
Those survey results help us know which buckets we need to focus on first.
Here’s some of the things we learned from the survey:
- about 50% of the residents had ever visited City Hall and half of those folks visited less than once a year.
- about 50% of the visits to City Hall are to pay utility and tax bills
- about 25% of the visits are to attend a City Council meeting
- about 50% of residents knew what City services were offered at City Hall
- for a new City Hall residents rank cost as a top priority
- for a new City Hall residents want as many services as possible that make sense to fit in the building
- residents want City Hall in a downtown location on city owned land
Here’s the executive summary of the survey details (full results here):