The second stage of the is complete. About 50 community members participated in the interactive visioning session on Thursday evening at the . Now, Stantec, the consulting firm conducting the study, will analyze the feedback, conduct research and draft a report for the Cobb Board of Commissioners in January.
Thursday’s interactive meeting included a short presentation by Stantec about the area’s existing conditions.
After the presentation, participants split into groups and used maps to identify key improvements they would like to see, such as adding a turn signal at the intersection of Factory Shoals Road and Six Flags Drive or placing a lit marquee at the entrance of the South Cobb Recreation Center.
Additionally, the firm asked the participants to rank, in order of priority, the relevant goals extracted from previous studies. Participants shared a wide array of concerns and visions, which included:
- light rail or some transportation hub,
- a grocery store of a major chain,
- more greenspace and parks,
- a police station,
- an employment center,
- urgent care center
- and businesses, restaurants that could benefit from the Six Flags amusement park traffic.
The Stantec team members have made headway since the study began in October.
They have identified all existing sidewalks and bus shelters and the gaps between them. Some members recently met with business owners and industry leaders in the Six Flags area and learned that the current workforce available in the area lacks the training and soft skills needed to hold the available positions.
The business owners also noted that a lack of reliable transportation is an issue for many of the people who apply for their open positions.
Marsha Bomar of Stantec said she and her team are creatively approaching solutions for the workforce-related issues as well.
Also, the firm members posted a map in the lobby of the recreation center for several days to allow stakeholders from the community as well as the children who frequent the South Cobb Recreation Center to add their input.
“We’ll take that with us and see what they imagine for us,” Bomar said.
The next steps involve analysis of the key recurring themes throughout the session and constructing action plans to achieve these goals.
“For an area to change, you really have to have a plan, and you have to work the plan,” said Bomar.
Bomar said the study will receive even more support from the community, once residents begin to see tangible progress being made.
“Once things start happening, they start to build on each other,” said Bomar, adding that she and her colleagues are identifying early projects that can be funded and completed in the near future.
Bomar said she is excited about the level of involvement she and her team have had thus far.
“We already had five or six people raise their hands and say, ‘I want to be a part of that.’”