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Request for proposals goes out for park district needs survey

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By The Staff

Proposals are due Sept. 9 for this portion of a two-part study process on the recreation district.

The survey initially was conceived as part of the Buchanan Park Master Plan, which called for both a feasibility study and community needs analysis as part of the planning process for the development of Buchanan Park.

Although the district’s current board of directors is divided on the matter of building a combination community center/arts center, there was enough support to go forward with the two studies.

The purpose is to get a better idea of the level of community support for future projects and amenities in both Buchanan Park and the system in general.

The feasibility study was designed to identify funding sources and come up with a business plan for a new building. The community needs analysis is about projecting the community’s preference for facilities and programs.

Both would be used in combination “to influence the best course for a community-driven, phased approach to funding the proposed buildings at Buchanan,” according to the 2008 Buchanan Park Master Plan.

According to the public notice, the survey includes three major tasks:

• Identify a statistically valid random sample for achieving informative results.

• Work with district staff including a community committee to formulate survey questions and design the questionnaire format.

• Identify the appropriate survey instrument that will result in a scientifically valid random sample.

At the February park district meeting, the board decided to go forward with the feasibility study, which was budgeted at $37,500, with $12,500 paid for by the Center for the Arts Evergreen.

Neighborhood groups in the Trails subdivision are opposed to the idea of developing new recreation buildings in Buchanan Park, saying they believe it should be left in its natural state.