The WillowRidge Community Association (WRCA) has $2 million in initial funding from The City of Calgary’s Joint Use Coordinating Committee (JUCC) for a recreation growth and/or redevelopment project.
Before making any decisions, the WRCA is conducting a community engagement process to understand the community’s needs and determine how best to use the funds. Gathering community input from the beginning will improve the project results by reflecting community feedback as much as possible.
The JUCC agreement requires that a detailed feasibility study be conducted on the recommended plan to ensure long-term financial sustainability.
Community engagement process
The community engagement process took place in two “rounds”. In each round, the project team met with a stakeholder group (representatives from adjacent businesses, residents and schools, Sport Calgary, Willow Ridge Soccer, The City of Calgary, community hall user groups and electoral offices) before consulting the larger community. Throughout the engagement process, the community told us the funding would be better spent to renovate or upgrade the existing building. The Community Association Board of Directors is proceeding on that basis.
Phase 1: Information gathering & needs assessment
Stakeholder Meeting #1
On March 19, the WRCA held the first community stakeholder group meeting to introduce the project. Stakeholders provided valuable and insightful comments, which the project team used to more clearly define the project scope and develop the online survey to gather feedback from the larger community.
Survey #1 focused on identifying current uses for the community hall, desired improvements and the associated demographics for each. In total, 175 survey responses were collected. Click here to view the public input summary.
Phase 2: Develop and Present Growth Concept
After reviewing and analyzing the public input from Phase 1, the project team asked existing WRCA tenants and key stakeholders to complete an online survey to provide additional detail about how the building could be improved. Tenants were asked which components of the building were functioning well, which were not functioning well, and if they had specific suggestions or concerns about improving the facility.
Stakeholder Meeting #2
On September 15, 2014, 10 stakeholders attended a second meeting to discuss the results of the engagement process to date and talk about possible building improvements in specific detail. The project team used the feedback from the discussion to develop a draft facility improvement plan that addressed as many of the opportunities identified by tenants and stakeholders as possible.
Public Open House and Online Feedback
A public open house was held at the WillowRidge Community Association on Saturday, September 27, 2014, from 10am-2pm. There were 22 attendees and 11 feedback forms submitted. Community members could also provide feedback at willowridge.ca from September 27 – October 12, 2014. An additional 21 feedback forms were collected online, for a total of 32 feedback forms. Click here to view the public input summary.
The proposed plan was presented to the WillowRidge Community Association Board of Directors on October 21, 2014. The next step will be approaching the JUCC to seek approval on the new direction. Once the recommended layout has been approved, stakeholders and the community will be informed and the feasibility study will begin.