The Building Committee invited the Arlington community to provide feedback regarding exterior design concepts, an updated site plan and reuse/re-creation of historic element concepts. Information on these elements was presented at the Nov. 28 Community Forum and feedback was solicited at the forum and via an online form.
This post summarizes the community feedback gathered on these schematic design concepts. This information is also available in a presentation given to the building committee on December 4th and a SurveyMonkey Summary.
The Building Committee values community input into this significant project and appreciates the feedback provided by community members who engaged with the process and took the time to fill out the feedback form.
The goals of the feedback form were to:
- Gather community feedback on exterior design concepts, site plan and reuse/re-creation of historic elements
- Gather feedback from the general community prior to the 12/4 Building Committee meeting where decisions on some of these elements will be made
- Continue to increase awareness about the project
- Gather feedback from 1,000 community members
Each of these goals was achieved and 1,442 community members provided feedback representing all demographics including households with and without children. Please note, original feedback questions are indicated below by italics.
High Level Summary
Following are a few conclusions:
- Design Concept Options: the community feels positive about Option A and neutral about Options B & C
- Entrance and aesthetics are important
- 3% rated all three options a 1 (Strong Dislike)
- The community is split on their opinion of re-using/re-creating historical elements: ~30% feel it is important, ~30% feel it is less important, ~30% feel it is irrelevant
- Overall, respondents feel positive about the site plan: 75% like the front green while only 14% dislike parking, traffic flow
- Of the respondents that supplied comments: remarks supporting a new building were nearly triple those expressing desire to keep original buildings (115 to 43); getting the cost lower was a significant concern; there is strong desire to prioritize maintaining field space (i.e. Peirce Practice) over increasing parking for the school and DPW.
Rating all of the Options
Community members were asked to rate each design option individually on a scale of 5 (strong like) to 1 (strong dislike)
What is your overall rating for Option [X]?
Attribute and Element Feedback
Respondents were also asked to rate attributes and elements about each design concept.
Do you agree with the following statements about Option [X]? (5 strongly agree, 1 strongly disagree)
I like the… entrance, auditorium wing (left), classroom wing (right), balance of materials, aesthetics, appearance; I feel this design fits…within the fabric of Arlington, my image of Arlington’s future
Which statement [referenced above] weighed most heavily in your overall rating for Option [X]?
To gain a different perspective on each of the options, respondents were asked to select emotions that each optioned evoked. Following are the top 5 responses for each option.
What does Option [X] evoke for you? (please select no more than 4)
Grandeur , Inspiration, Welcoming, Appealing, Academic, Civic presence, Historic/Traditional, New England, 21stcentury/Modern, Futuristic, Arlingtonian, Community, Urban, Suburban, Timeless, Trendy/Faddish, Dated, Unattractive, Uninspirational
General Design Attribute Feedback
The Building Committee also sought feedback not related to any of the exterior facade concepts, including opinions on re-using or re-creating certain elements of the original buildings and where those elements might be located.
In general, and not related to any specific design, how important are these attributes to you? (5 very important, 1 irrelevant)
How important is it to you to re-use or re-create the following original building elements in the new school? (5 very important, 1 irrelevant)
How important is it to you to re-use or re-create original building elements in the following locations in the new school? (5 very important, 1 irrelevant)
Site Plan Feedback
As the site plan continues to evolve, respondents were asked to rate specific attributes of the plan.
How would you rate the following elements of the site plan? (5 strong like, 1 strong dislike)
All of the feedback above was shared with the building committee at the December 4th meeting, and factored into the committee’s decision making as one of many components in the selection of the preferred exterior design concept (Option A). The committee greatly appreciates the time and effort so many residents of Arlington took to attend the forum and provide their feedback.
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