Wednesday, November 25 , 2015, 7:55 pm | Fair 53º

Goleta Officials Seek Input on Civic Center Design

City hosts two public sessions to provide thoughts on designs, with final one Saturday

During planning meetings hosted by the city of Goleta, residents were able to rearrange pieces of foam representing buildings that would be part of a new civic center being considered by the city.
During planning meetings hosted by the city of Goleta, residents were able to rearrange pieces of foam representing buildings that would be part of a new civic center being considered by the city.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

Goleta residents saw their suggestions come to life Friday during one of two workshops to gather design ideas for the city’s proposed Civic Center and City Hall.

The city hosted a “Civic Center Design Charrette,” with a two-hour open house in the morning and afternoon presentation at the Goleta Valley Community Center — the site for the proposed development.

A second open house is planned for Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, with a final presentation from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at 5679 Hollister Ave.

Organizers explained a “charrette” was a fancy word for the intensive planning session involving citizens, architects and collaborators with a project vision.

RNT Architects drew up five options based on previous public meetings, and residents were able to give direct input to designers and watch architects sketch up concepts.

The workshops are part of the feasibility process to relocate Goleta City Hall from 130 Cremona Drive to the current site of the Goleta Valley Community Center.

Civic Center buildings would take up about 76,600 square feet, with a larger outdoor space that also accommodates 401 parking spaces.

Dozens of residents filtered through the open house, many rearranging blue foam pieces in the shape of city hall, the community center and Goleta City Council chambers.

“It’s been really good hearing from everyone today,” said Monika Banakaite of RNT Architects.

Most of five design options kept a proposed community center in about its same location, allowing space for a police substation, library branch, council chambers, city hall, Head Start School, Girls and Boys Club and a Rainbow Bridge School.

The first option employed a central green space with council chambers and city hall flanking either side of the community center.

A second design used underground parking as well as ground level lots, and a connection with the future Ekwill Road Extension.

A third rendering showed city hall located directly behind the community center, a fourth emphasized a large shared green space with center plaza, and a fifth looked to maximize green space and distribute parking throughout the site.

Goleta senior management analyst Claudia Dato called the workshops a launch pad for discussion, adding that staff would analyze suggestions and refine them into a couple designs before bringing them before City Council in August or September.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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