Wednesday, August 19, 2009

During the intermission

With renewed interest in the YMCA site as a community based recreation facility-I trust that does not sound too facile-this is a good time to pause and consider the opportunities presented for invigorating our community. The absence of a site for recreational activities convenient to the downtown area has been exposed since the YMCA closed, and it is a serious omission. While the library is, by reasonable definitions, a center of community activity it has a mission and vision which do not encompass many of the enhancements formerly provided by the YMCA. Beyond the obvious need to ensure that the mission and planning for this new facility acknowledge and complement the services provided by the library, there is an equally salient need to recognize this as an opportunity to address the renascence of the city center. There are many earnest and thoughtful groups dedicated to establishing a unique identity for Main Street and environs. There is an opportunity here to incorporate both fully articulated and still inchoate visions for such essentials as parking, visitor services, retail, and transportation into a collaborative plan. I hope that the broader concerns of community development will be integral to the planning process.

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