Davenport Seeks Comments on New Fairmount Community Center

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The city of Davenport is looking to its residents for guidance on a new $2.2 million project funded by the American Rescue Plan.

The city and OPN Architects, an Iowa City firm designing the project, held a unique open house Thursday at the Fairmount Library to get the public’s thoughts on Fairmount’s new community center.

The community is going to use this center, we need to know what our citizens want,” said Courtney Jones, director of administrative services for Davenport. “What kind of programming do they want so that we can build this space? »

To answer these questions, the city and OPN used everything from templates to graphics and stickers.

“Everyone has an opinion, right? So stickers allow us to help people react viscerally to something,” explained Mindy Sorg, Senior Interior Designer at OPN Architects. “If they like something, they put a green on it, if it inspires them in any way. And red is, obviously, something they don’t like.

Other questions included a table of wants versus needs in the new space, possible layouts and whether or not it will be attached to the Fairmount Library.

OPN doesn’t have any drafts or designs yet, they’re starting from scratch, with Thursday’s meeting and a similar meeting with community leaders held last week as a foundation.

“You want to create something special and unique,” ​​Sorg said. “And it’s a place of destination for people. And if it exists in three or four other places, then what is so special about what we do, and why do we do what we do? »

Of the dozen or so people who came to the open house, many hoped the center would have something to offer local children.

“Something for the kids to do, so they’re not just causing trouble,” said Davenport resident Amanda Mahan. “Because whenever something happens, kids are always blamed for what they did or didn’t do. And to me, that just makes our whole community better.

City officials say the project was decided upon after an investigation into what to do with ARPA funds received several requests for a new Fairmount community center last summer. The neighborhood is eligible for ARPA projects.

Because the OPN is still in the early stages of planning, officials say they expect to compete construction and innovate next year.

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Jill E. Washington