Background

The Lotatorium is the public green space owned by the City of Baldwin City at 710 High Street between the Lumberyard Arts Center and the Baldwin City Post Office. The lot has been used for various community events include Maple Leaf Festival music tent, Festival of Lights, community theatre productions, Lumberyard Arts Center Bluegrass & BBQ and artwalk events, Chamber of Commerce WineFest, Baldwin Academy of Dance & Voice productions, BHS Football booster club pep rally and Baldwin City Recreation Commission activities.

Development Started with Visioning: Fall 2018

The City’s goal is to develop the lotatorium into a public space with amenities that is ADA accessible. The first step in development was a series of public engagement opportunities for citizens to provide input on amenities to include in the development. In the Fall 2018, the City of Baldwin City in partnership with the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and Lumberyard Arts Center developed and implemented community engagement tools to enable public input for the development of the lotatorium. The tools included 1) a stakeholder meeting; 2) an online survey; 3) a community visioning event held September 21, 2018 and 4) an opportunity for BHS students to provide written feedback. The community survey results are shown in Table 1. Following these engagement sessions, the City Council met for a work session to discuss amenity inclusion.

 

Table 1. Community Engagement Results

Next Steps: Community Engagement Sessions

The City has contracted with BG Consultants to provide construction design. Preliminary plans are being discussed between BG Consultants and the City’s Community Development Committee. The City’s Community Development Committee members, Councilman Brian Cramer, Councilman David Simmons, and Baldwin City citizen representative Brian Stultz have engaged conversations with a special advisory group, the Stage Advisory Group, and the Lumberyard Arts Center. These stakeholder meetings with the CDC and weekly CDC meetings have focused on refining amentity development. According to Mayor Simoneau, construction will begin early June. In the next couple of months, the City invites the public to join in a variety of forums to learn more about the Lotatorium development. The forums include:

  • City Work Session, Tuesday, March 26 – 7:00 pm, American Legion
  • Public Information Session, Monday, April 8 –  7:00 pm, Lumberyard Arts Center
  • Chamber Luncheon, Wednesday, April 10 – 12:00 pm, Lumberyard Arts Center. The luncheon presentation will include a panel consisting of Glenn Rodden, City Administrator; Brian Cramer, City Councilman; David Devore, BG Consultants; Jeannette Blackmar, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and Wendy Conover, Lumberyard Arts Center.

Following these sessions, Mayor Simoneau anticipates the City Council to vote on final construction design at its April 16 City Council meeting.