Monkton mulls a community center


THE TOWN OF Monkton owns the beautiful 6.6-acre parcel in Monkton Ridge — just south of the Methodist Church — for the proposed community center that would house town offices and library. Learn more about it at a Sept. 26 meeting.

MONKTON — For nearly a decade, Monkton has been searching for a solution to its aging and inefficient town offices and library facilities.

Later this month, a town committee will host a public meeting where citizens can see the latest architectural drawings and question officials about a solution they are developing.

This past April, town officials solicited proposals from qualified architecture and engineering firms to assist the town with creating a community center to house the new Monkton Town Offices and library. On Aug. 12, the selectboard approved the proposal from Bellwether Architects of Middlebury for architectural services for the new facility.

“We wanted to find an architect who was excited about creating a community space by working with the community, and Bellwether is a perfect fit,” said Stephen Pilcher of the Municipal Building Committee.

A renewed effort by the Municipal Building Committee has focused on reaching out to the community to understand why previous proposals failed and what would fit the town’s needs now and in the future. With this community centered approach, the committee has held numerous open meetings, conducted a public survey, and hosted an open house and other community engagement events.

Through this process, the committee has developed guiding design principles, which will consider topics such as preserving the historic character of the village, keeping the design simple, promoting energy efficiency, supporting multi-functional use of spaces, and maximizing the natural beauty of the site.

Building on the feedback they have received to date, the committee will host the next public informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m., where citizens can meet directly with the architects to ask questions, voice concerns and offer ideas. The event will be held at the Monkton Central  School. Pizza and beverages will be provided.

The town is anticipating a bond vote on the new Town Community Center at its March 2020 town meeting.

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