Spring 2016 Community Meeting

Date: 3/23/16 @ 6pm

Location: Boys & Girls Club at 313 E. 10th Street (corner of E. 10th & N. Liberty Streets)

The purpose of the meeting was to share news about the Boys & Girls Club plans to redevelop their building, gain input from the community about desired Capital Improvement Projects, and share community news with attendees.

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The meeting began with a run down of various community news: the design of new commercial corridor banners was revealed, the 2nd annual disc golf tournament in Klutho Park (sponsored by Intuition Ale Works, River City Disc Golf, Springfield Disc Golf and SPAR) was announced for June 4th, an event to benefit the Springfield Animal Care and Rescue Club (SACARC) sometime this summer will be co-sponsored by SPAR, the 38th Annual Historic Springfield Tour of Homes is now accepting volunteers, a recent demolition of a historic property on E. 1st Street has SPAR and other entities engaged with the City about improving procedures and standards related to demolition, upcoming Historic Home Workshops, and the giraffe sculpture purchased last year (via crowd funding) will be placed in Klutho Park in the next few months in a joint event with the Jacksonville Zoo. In addition, a guest from the American Cancer Society shared information about the 2016 Relay for Life on Thursday, April 28th, from 3pm-9pm, in Hemming Park. 

The second segment of the meeting involved having attendees provide input on needed Capital Improvement Projects in the neighborhood. A CIP is defined by the City as a project costing more than $100k and benefiting the public for at east 10 years. Suggestions from attendees included improving drainage, road repairs, restoring brick streets, adding trashcans (JTA and the Parks Department have stated they plan to add new trashcans in various locations), speed controls on streets, improving street lighting, and matching community improvement grants, which the City previously provided years ago. A survey will be distributed to residents to gauge what the CIP priority rankings are at a later date. The City will be collecting this information to plan future projects.

The last segment of the meeting featured leadership from the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida sharing their plans for a $2.5 million dollar renovation of their existing, vacant building, along with a new construction addition and new programming. The plans call for the property being transformed into a Teen Center, modeled after a B&G Club location in Brunswick, GA. The Teen Center would provide an attractive, safe, educational, and engaging space for middle and high school aged children to spend their afternoons, 3pm-9pm Monday-Thursday, 3pm-11pm Fridays, 10am-11pm Saturdays, and various times on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Monday-Friday, the space would be open for daily meetings and activities by community members. The property would feature a cafe, rock climbing wall, robotics lab, dance studio, computer lab, sports gym, ornamental gardens, ood service & cosmotology job training, and event venue available to rent. In addition, the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office is planning to operate a Stop Station onsite, and base their bicycle units out of the building. The B&G Club is investigating placing a bicycle shop in the building as well. Half of the funding for the project has been promised as a matching grant, and a $500k naming rights announcement is planned in the coming weeks. The B&G Club said they are confident the funds would be raised sometime this year. At the end of the meeting, attendees were invited to tour the building.

About 60 people attended the meeting, ending at 7:00pm

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