BURLINGTON SEEKS COMMUNITY INPUT ON MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM FUTURE

Burlington residents and business owners are invited to voice their opinions on

uses and programming for Memorial Auditorium in online survey

BURLINGTON, VT – The City of Burlington and the Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) are encouraging residents and business owners to participate in an online city-wide survey focused on the future of Memorial Auditorium.

“Memorial Auditorium has played an important role in Burlington’s history as a community gathering place,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “As part of developing a plan to revitalize the building as a public assembly space, we are asking community members for their insight and feedback on Memorial’s future. There are many possible options and we want to draw on the creativity and innovation of Burlingtonians to help us sketch out the right path forward. Over the years, many redevelopment concepts and ideas have been considered for Memorial Auditorium. Now is the time to act.”

The survey seeks to understand from residents and businesses:

– How does Memorial Auditorium fit into the Burlington experience?

– What are the building’s most important uses?

– How can Memorial Auditorium best support Burlington’s future?

– What is the level of support for renovating the building?

– What are innovation ideas for the building?

“This is a great opportunity for the community’s input on Memorial Auditorium,” said City Councilor Dave Hartnett, chair of the Parks, Arts, and Culture Committee (PACC). In coordination with CEDO, the PACC intends to release the results of the survey during an upcoming August meeting. After the survey results are out, CEDO will host several community workshops to further refine the plan for Memorial. Harnett added: “To develop the best plan for the future of ‘The Aud’, we need broad and diverse participation in this quick and easy online survey. I encourage Burlingtonians to weigh in and make their voices heard.”

The survey is accessible at http://memorialauditorium.questionpro.com and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey will remain online and open for input from July 23, 2018 through August 5, 2018. Residents and business owners who would like a paper copy of the survey or need translation assistance should call CEDO Office at (802) 865-7144. The survey is being conducted by The Center for Research & Public Policy of Waterbury, VT. All responses are strictly anonymous.

“This city-wide survey is only one part of the community conversation about Memorial,” said Neale Lunderville, Interim Director of CEDO. “Over the years, Burlingtonians have engaged in many passionate discussions to decide the building’s future. Our hope is that this survey and the upcoming workshops will bolster those efforts and help the City write the next chapter of Memorial’s long and storied life as a publically-owned assembly space.”

Designed by architect Frank Lyman Austin, Memorial Auditorium was built as a 2,600-person auditorium and civic center to honor World War I veterans. Built in 1927, with the grand opening in 1928, Memorial has hosted public performances, private functions, athletic events, farmers’ markets, exhibits, a day care, and a teen center, 242 Main. Over the years it has been managed by hired contractors, Burlington City Arts, and the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department. Unfortunately, since the 1990s the City has struggled to keep up with the needed repairs and required updates to the building and its equipment, and Memorial Auditorium was closed at the recommendation of the City Engineer to ensure the safety of the public in December 2016.

If residents or businesses would like background information before completing the survey, CEDO is directing survey respondents to their website: https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CEDO/Memorial-Auditorium.

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ABOUT CEDO: The Community and Economic Development Office was created in 1983 by City Council Resolution. Our mission is to engage our community to build a vibrant, healthy and equitable city. We strive to incorporate these ideals into the work we do with one another, our partners, and the people we serve. Under the City’s Charter, some of the CEDO’s responsibilities include developing and implementing a comprehensive community and economic development strategy, as well as projects, for the city; working on behalf of the city to stimulate investment, and to attract, retain, and encourage the development of both existing and new economic enterprises; recommending to the City Council, and to solicit on behalf of the City Council, grants-in-aid funds for the city; and, coordinating and facilitating citizen participation in economic and community development with community organizations, city commissions, and the Neighborhood Planning Assemblies.

ABOUT THE SURVEY: The survey is conducted by The Center for Research & Public Policy, Inc. headquartered in Waterbury, VT and Grantham, NH. The Center for Research & Public Policy is a full-service consulting firm specializing in market and social research and public opinion polling. All responses are strictly confidential.

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