By Charlotte Community Center Committee
Support Article 6: Community Center feasibility study
Indoor track, multi-sport courts, town meetings, and even a pool? That’s what community members expressed interest in if a community center is built in Charlotte. On March 1, you will have the opportunity to cast your vote on Article 6: “Will the voters of the Town approve raising a sum of $50,000 by property taxes for the fiscal year July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 for the purpose of funding a feasibility study for the Charlotte Community Center project?”
Proposed by the Community Center Committee, the feasibility study will professionally research and deliver critical information needed for our community to accurately evaluate the benefits and costs of developing a community center.
Specifically, this study shall:
- be conducted by an architecture-led consulting team with experience developing community centers
- develop conceptual plans, identify site locations, and summary of proposed space needs
- provide cost estimates for both construction and any other costs that will comprise a total project budget
- determine a financially viable operating budget detailing projected revenues and expenses, including program offerings, annual maintenance, supplies and staffing
- be able to determine viability of funding options, including private fundraising
- propose alternate plans, such as a phased approach
The Community Center Committee is composed of individuals experienced in architecture, construction, permitting, communications and fundraising. We are deeply committed to the progress of this initiative—donating over 150 hours of professional services. Through our work, we’ve found considerable interest within the community for the concept of this project. The town-wide survey (322 participants) indicated interest in a wide range of programs. They included aquatics, multi-purpose courts, fitness studio space, an indoor walking track, a space to hold elections and Town Meeting, as well as a potential outdoor gathering space for a farmers market, community gardens, and/or performance events. Further research into the survey results also noted interest in other community services, such as a designated emergency shelter and a new location for the food shelf.
In addition, the siting subcommittee investigated several site opportunities and evaluated their potential to serve the needs of a future center. The programs subcommittee created business models for operations and revenue, along with a list of potential program offerings and space requirements. All the committee’s work culminated in a presentation to the Selectboard in September. We informed the Selectboard in order to continue to further refine and determine the feasibility of this impactful project; we believe a professional consultant should conduct a more detailed feasibility study.
Selectboard members supported the idea and added it as a separate article to be considered by the voters of Charlotte on Town Meeting Day. The $50,000 request is an estimate of what a study of this scope might cost and is an amount that won’t be exceeded. The actual cost may be less, depending on the bids received.
We are excited to share the work we’ve done to date with Charlotte residents. We invite you to join us for a virtual informational session on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. to see the results of the committee’s work and ask questions about the project and proposed feasibility study. We will also be participating in the Public Information Meeting for Town Meeting articles on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. Community Center Committee materials are available on the town website. Interested community members who cannot attend the meetings can call or email the Recreation Director, Nicole Conley, at 802-425-6129 ext. 204.
Please vote yes on Article 6.
The Charlotte Community Center Committee