Building Committee Report 4/4/19

  1. Call to Order/Roll Call

Mr. Minish called the meeting to order at 5:39 p.m.

Members present: Gary Minish, Martha Barberio, Richard Dunkin, Nathan Duval-City of Valdez Capital Facilities Director, Donna Lane

Guests: Lindy Vititow- City of Valdez Project Manager

Staff present: Patricia Relay, Andrew Goldstein, Faith Revell and Marcia Lynn

  • Introduction of Guests: Committee members welcomed Lindy Vitiow back to Valdez. She said her goals were to leave a positive imprint on the community by supporting the design and implementation of functional buildings that meet users’ needs.
  • Public Business from the Floor:  None.
  • Old Business:

a.) After welcoming Lindy Vititow back to town, Nathan assessed the findings from the group’s cumulative ratings of the 22 potential sites.  He reported that the following 5 sites ranked the highest:

Hill North of Civic Center Parking Lot

PVC lots behind Court House

Parking lot across the street from the Yellow Warehouse

3 Bears/No Name Pizza

Hill above Ruth Pond on Clifton Drive.

Additionally, the group discussed the potential of the Museum parking lot on Tatitlek as well as the empty lot across the street on Tatitlek, the Food Cache and Northwind Gifts.  After discussing these options, it was decided that building on the Museum parking lot would not solve the problem of more space as that parcel is no bigger than the main museum.  The lots that occupy the Food Cache, the empty lot and Northwind Gifts would not solve the issue of consolidating the Museum into one facility as well as the unlikelihood that the owners would sell.

Drilling down further on the top 5 sites,

  • 3 Bears/No Name was ruled out.  Although 3 Bears is still interested in selling, No Name is not.  3 Bears alone is not a big enough site to satisfy the Museum’s needs.  Also, there would be community push back since this is prime real estate for business.
  • Hill above Ruth Pond on Clifton Drive was ruled out. That site would require the annexation of the south civic center parking lot to meet the size requirement.  While additional parking could be added on the north parking lot, the group thought that there would be push back from the community. 

While the three finalists each had both strengths and weakness, their essential strength was that two were City owned, and the owner of the third is very supportive of a Museum project as well as interested in providing incentives.  Here is a run-down on the three finalists:

  • Hill North of Civic Center Parking Lot.  Ranked the highest, this City owned property offers a number of opportunities.  Putting the Museum on this site would allow for collaborative programming with the Civic Center; interpretive programming with existing trail system; and a spectacular view if sited across the street from the Coast Guard facility.  The one challenge would be increased costs for hill removal. 
  • PVC lots behind Court House.  Privately owned by Port Valdez Co., the owner is very supportive of a Museum project and would consider incentives to encourage placement on this site.  While the site is only 1.4 acres, there are opportunities to build up.
  • Parking lot across the street from the Yellow Warehouse. City owned, this site, a 1.66 acre lot, is adequate in size but in a foreign trade zone as well as in the tsunami zone.  While the site would continue the Kelsey Dock Uplands improvements, the issues with zoning weaken the opportunity.

Moving forward, Nathan and Lindy will provide images of the three top sites and outline pros and cons for each.  This supporting piece will be utilized in the community outreach effort.

            b.)  Community Outreach Strategy and Plan Update: Patty reported on her meeting with Kaitlin and Marcia that outline steps to engaging the community.  This effort has two stages: Content Design & Development and Implementation.

  • Content Design & Development:  Did you Know?  Why a New Museum?  Develop a FAQ with supporting promotion tools. Answering the following questions:
    • Why is the Museum important to the Community?
    • Why do we need more space?
    • Why do we need on facility?
    • What is the economic impact of the Museum

Staff will work on answering these questions based on past plans and reports.  The end product will be a giveaway that is formatted similar to a rack card.  It will include photos and testimonials as well. In addition to the rack card formatted give away, a pop up banner and table top panel will be created for use at site gatherings.

  • Implementation:  Both passive and aggressive strategies will be employed
    • Passive:
      • Website
      • Social media, Facebook and Twitter – including video
      • Radio: KCHU, KVAK, and KUAC in Fairbanks.
      • Print: Copper River Record, Cordova, Fairbanks News Miner
    • Aggressive:
      • Festivals and Fairs: Fly In, 4th of July, and Gold Rush booths
      • One on one contact: outside Post Office, table at Safeway; presentations at Senior Center, Coast Guard community center, churches, Valdez native Tribe, and one on one in Bars.

With the collateral material in hand, engagement efforts will include conversations that serve as a survey effort, whereby two questions will be posed:

  • Do you support a new museum?
  • If so, where?

We eliminated the question of cost until we have completed the architectural design phase that will define the overall cost.  We did, however, believe it was important to convey that this project is not seeking full funding from the City, and that we are looking to leverage City dollars to secure a 50% match from foundations and donors plus state and federal agencies. 

            c.)  Valdez City Council Work Session: Site Selection: While community outreach will be a long term effort, this initial phase will go through the end of May 2019 so that we can schedule a work session with council in June.  At that work session, we will be able to report that X% of the community supports a new Museum and X% supports the following site.

Moving forward, staff will draft the content for the collateral material.  Instead of another meeting, the content will be sent via email for discussion.  It is my goal to have the first draft to you all by the middle of next week.

      Next Meeting Museum Building Committee, TBA

  • New Business:

a.)  Recruit Community Members: Patty informed the group that current City Council member Jim Shirrell is interested in serving on the VMHA Building Committee. She had a positive recommendation for that and asked the group to seek out other community members to serve on the committee.

  • Adjournment

With no further business before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 7:10 pm.