Staff have suggested an interesting approach to getting the public involved in how the Bateman site could be used.

By Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

In a staff report to a Standing Committee the communication and engagement tactics and milestones are set out.
They are structured around critical construction targets.

There are additional other engagement opportunities for the community as it relates to recreation programs and indoor/outdoor recreation amenities.

Staff have outlined the connections with the Parks and Recreation Cultural Assets Master Plan (PRCAMP) and the Direct Delivered Program Review and wherever possible are drawing synergies between these various engagement opportunities.

The engagement tactics as they relate to allocation of space for community use will include a visioning exercise followed by a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI).

The RFEI will look for alignment with the community and council’s vision for the facility and will be open to organizations looking for exclusive or dedicated space.

The process will require interested parties to briefly state their space interest at the new community centre.

Following the RFEI, staff will review the interest and provide an update to council.

Subsequently and 18 months prior to the expected construction completion date, staff will begin the process of allocating space with the goal of striking a balance between existing user group expansion, new community offerings and expansion and/or re-allocation of various city direct-delivered programs; all with the goal of realizing the community vision. In the event of competing interest, staff may wish to proceed with a Request for Proposal (RFP).

Strategy/process/risk
From the Staff report comes the following:
Engaging people on issues that affect their lives and their city is a key component of a democratic society. Public involvement encourages participation, actions, and personal responsibility. Burlington’s commitment to public engagement is reflected in its Community Engagement Charter, adopted by City Council. The Charter establishes the commitments, responsibilities, and concepts of the relationship between the City of Burlington and the residents of Burlington related to public engagement. The goal of community engagement is to lead to more informed and, therefore, better decision- making.

Staff appreciate council’s wish to roll out comprehensive and extensive engagement efforts with the community on this project. Specifically, staff have outlined a chart for both indoor and outdoor engagement opportunities respectively; the chart includes timing, milestone, messages, stakeholders, and level of engagement expected.

Those charts are set out in a separate article.

Engagement efforts began in Spring 2022 with the development of a project page on the City’s engagement portal Get Involved Burlington. In addition to the project page, residents have been kept updated on the project including seven media releases and five staff reports. Upcoming milestones include various visioning exercises with the community (in person and virtual) over the summer months and will be followed by a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) in early fall where community groups will be invited to share their interest in space at the new community centre. Engagement efforts for the indoor space will be centered around the spaces identified for community use; this space includes:

• ~ 14,000 square feet of open community space located near the back of the building.
• ~ 7,000 square feet of shop space located on the west side of the building.
• Potential Additional ~ 9,000 square feet of shell space that would be temporarily available to the community. It is intended to be used as expansion space by one of the partners in the next few years.

Ground floor

This is a very interesting and innovative approach to involving the public.  Stay on top of your Council member and push your ideas and seek their support.

Related news story:

Communications and Recreation, Community and Culture

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1 comment to Staff have suggested an interesting approach to getting the public involved in how the Bateman site could be used.

  • Jim Thomson

    At the council meeting when the tender was approved, the Mayor stressed how pleased she was that the project was under budget and on time.
    She was half right. The schedule presented in December 2022, had Brock starting in September 2024.
    The current schedule is September 2025. That’s a lost year.

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