Finding a power outlet was difficult for city officials as they began to set up a public address system in the auditorium on Wednesday night, and was emblematic of the issues facing architects and designers in renovating the facility. The aging stage was showing its wear according to specialist Edward Logsdon. Logsdon will be conducting an assessment of the facility as part of a study to bring forward a catalog of possible changes for the memorial to the community.
On Wednesday night Logsdon spoke to around a dozen community members to receive input on what they would like to see in possible renovations for the auditorium. The consensus from many in attendance was the need for air conditioning to help keep the facility viable during the warmer months, and finding ways to preserve the memorial for future community members.
Logsdon says it is important to engage the community to find out their priorities before beginning the process of planning renovations. Community engagement has been a highlight of the process after a city commission plan to find a way to renovate the space, and bring in the Parks and Recreation department to city hall caused some community pushback with concern over the proposed project.
Architect Bruce McMillan is now bringing in experts such as Logsdon to bring a more robust catalog of possibilities to the commission that takes into account community desires for the facility. Logsdon believes his assessment should be completed in two weeks, and city officials are projecting the combined proposals to come before the commission once again in April.
Manhattan Riley County Preservation Alliance member Aedna Weiser says it is important to preserve monuments, “but it is also important for people to know about them… and to use them.”