Things are really moving ahead. Here’s what’s been happening:
• The Market Square Open House was held on Wednesday June 1, 2016, in the City Hall Auditorium:
• Approximately 60 people attended, in addition to five members of Council, five staff members, and three consultants from GSP;
• 17 people asked questions at the meeting;
• 7 people provided written feedback at the meeting;
• The Market Square Committee made a submission before the feedback deadline of June 5, 2016. Our Committee suggested that the City hold off on the idea of a skating rink, extend the decorative pavers all the way to the south sidewalks and improve the curb bump outs that will help pedestrian movement and safety. We also asked the City to fast track at least a few of the planned media towers so the Sesquicentennial Committee’s digital media project could be installed in time for celebrations in July 2017.
• We know of a number of other citizens who provided online feedback before the public input closed.
• The Market Square page on the City’s website has been updated to include the open house presentation and feedback information:
• A direct link to the presentation made by staff and GSP is available here:https://www.stratfordcanada.ca/en/insidecityhall/resources/MarketSquare/Market-Square-Conceptual-Design---Open-House--1-June-2016.pdf
• On June 13, a revised conceptual design for Market Square and costing for Phase 1 was considered by Council, sitting as the Finance and Labour Relations Sub-Committee of Council. In short, that meeting produced the following decisions:
• The City will not proceed with the proposed outdoor rink due to costs (nearly $500,000 ($215,000 for preliminary underground work in Phase 1, and $250,000 or more to complete it in Phase 2), and due to commentary from the public that a skating rink is not a desirable feature at this time.
• Savings from the rink feature will be applied to extended paving treatment to the south side of the Square and pedestrian bump outs that improve mobility and safety, and custom benches and furniture for the site.
• City Staff and GSP met with a representative of the Sesquicentennial Committee to determine what is needed for the public art/digital legacy project. Staff and GSP are discussing the potential for one digital media tower; it is not clear if this will be sufficient to accommodate the proposed digital art project. Further discussion will take place at the June 20th meeting of City Staff and GSP.
• Both an alternate parking plan and options for a new transit hub remain unresolved, though City Staff promised results of the parking study in two weeks on June 27.
• Councillors also discussed the need for resources to plan, program and manage public functions in the Square.
June (TBD) A meeting is being scheduled with the University of Waterloo Stratford to discuss the impact of the potential relocation of the bus terminal to St. Patrick Street.
June 27 Results of the City’s parking study will be ready.
July-August Detailed GSP design is finalized and prepared for tender.
September-October Contract awarded and construction begins.