Editorial: A shout-out to Hillview Task Force

The 11-member Hillview Community Center Project Task Force is nearing the end of a five-month process for bringing into focus plans for a rebuilt community center.

Task force members should be proud of what they’ve accomplished. Starting with a general budget number of $25 million and little else, the group has successfully processed all kinds of community input, both in person and online, and brought on an excellent architect.

Last week’s task force meeting, its second to last, had some major breakthroughs: a chosen floor plan that showed placement of the various elements, from the lobby to teen space; and an architectural design featuring a low-key, natural look akin to the Packard Foundation headquarters downtown, with a peaked roof at the entrance to the center.

They’ve also decided on a location, set back from Hillview Avenue farther from where the current facilities are now – good news for residents on that street.

The task force has made decisions based not only on community input but on cost constraints and minimizing disruption for the entire 18-acre civic center.

Along the way, they’ve heard repeated lobbying from seniors and teen groups for dedicated space, while also fielding input for multigenerational activity.

The choices made will not please everyone, and there’s still plenty of work left ahead. But one could argue the hard work of synthesizing the various and often contrasting feedback to create a sound conceptual plan has been done.

We commend City Manager Chris Jordan for forwarding the task force idea in the first place, and the city council for making it happen. But what really made the task force work was its members – intelligent, thoughtful residents who were willing to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work as volunteers, knowing and appreciating their roles as liaisons to their community. We’re especially appreciative of Claudia Coleman for leading the task force as its chairwoman, providing steady guidance with her usual grace.

“I think we got it right,” observed task force member Stuart Klein. Agreed.

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