Gathering space success will be measured by execution

While the public spoke loudly in favor of one of three proposed sites for a downtown gathering space – extremely loudly – the reality is that the success or failure of the gathering space isn’t going to be determined by the final choice for location.

The proof will be in the pudding – in this case, the success or failure of the gathering space as both concept and benefit to the city – will be in the execution.

Some aspects of the gathering space are more or less set in stone – plans had to be submitted for consideration for the funding through the federal grant money. And even while there may be some room for revision, the truth is that the design of the gathering space is only one aspect of its execution.

In addition to design, there are facilities, upkeep, programming, parking access (and the question addressed: Will people park in a ramp to then walk to the gathering space?), and marketing. All of these must be addressed just right for the gathering space to be declared a success in the years to come. The last thing the city, downtown particular, need is a lovely gathering space that doesn’t attract people to gather.

Thus, it will all be in the execution.

Fortunately, the city appears to have kept these things in mind when looking at potential locations and presenting the options to the public.

One thing is certain, and the Minot City Council and administration deserve considerable recognition for this. This project is not being worked out behind closed doors, in secrecy or in any way not fully open to the public and receptive to input. City leaders should be lauded for public inclusion in this entire process, from the initial brainstorming about what the public wanted to this near-complete decision on location. This bodes well for so many other issues this council, and subsequent councils, will face. This council has inspired confidence that if the public shows interest in what is happening in the community, then they should have no problem knowing and offering input on plans.

Minot Daily News looks forward to involvement in activities – ours and others – set in our city’s new gathering space.