Fifty cooperators attended a working session last night to discuss and help determine priorities for the community room’s upcoming renovation.
Split into seven groups, participants worked to answer the question, “What would make you want to rent the community room?”
Each group then presented their ideas to the room, where some common themes emerged:
- Most everyone agreed that the parts of the board’s current proposal are necessary just to make the room presentable.
- Many thought it would be worthwhile to invest in internet access and audio/visual equipment.
- Some of the working groups suggested building an entrance to the room from the building’s front hallway, as opposed to the current entrance next to the section M garbage room.
- Almost everyone agreed that the current rental policy ($325 per day) should be reconsidered to allow for more affordable hourly rates to encourage flexible use.
A few general questions also came up, such as why were design decisions for the approved project being made by the contractor, and why were cooperators not asked by the board of directors to participate in the project.
Toward the end of the meeting, participants agreed that deciding how to renovate the community room should really be part of a broader discussion about how all the coop’s ground floor spaces are used. For example, most participants did not know of the existence of the women’s and men’s clubs, and wondered if those spaces could be combined with the community room, or if they could take on more of an inclusive role at the coop so that the community room could remain a utilitarian space with minimal decoration.
Cooperatively Yours will be distributing a survey shortly based on this meeting’s suggestions to further determine cooperators’ priorities.
Special thanks to the directors who attended — Lee Berman and Peter Herb — and to the members of the house committee who participated — Jeff Super, John Field, Ellen Renstrom, and Joseph Hanania. (I know others from the house committee who wanted to attend but couldn’t due to prior engagements.)
You can see some of the first draft meeting ideas below:
There was also a kids’ table at the meeting. Naturally, they had some of their own suggestions: