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By Marianne Napoles

 

A statistically valid mail-in survey will be conducted to gather input from residents on the renovation of the Chino civic center.

The city council voted July 6 to spend $25,000 to provide the survey to at least 400 respondents about the use, need, and priority of civic center facilities including the library, senior center, public works services, and city hall.

In 2019, the city council approved a $262,393 agreement with Gruen Associates of Los Angeles to develop a master plan to decide how best to renovate the aging civic center complex.

The council voted to bump up the contract by $25,000 with Gruen Associates to conduct the survey.

According to deputy city manager Vivian Castro, the original scope included surveys conducted via pop-up tables at city events that would provide the city with feedback.

“Those had to be put on hold as a result of the pandemic,” she said. “During the program pause, we decided it would be best to have a more rigorous quantitative survey as well so that we could disaggregate the survey results.”

A similar statistically valid survey was conducted for the parks and facilities master plan, she said. 

City officials had been pondering whether to sell the aging civic center property and move city functions to south Chino where residential and businesses are growing.

The council was presented with four options two years ago during a strategic planning meeting: renovate the existing city hall, convert the empty courthouse into a new city hall, build a new city hall in civic center area, or relocate and build a new city hall in a more central location.

The council opted to keep the civic center in downtown Chino and directed staff to seek bids for the development of a master plan.

The civic center, completed in the 1970s, comprises approximately 15 acres in downtown Chino, on the west side of Central Avenue, between Chino Avenue and C Street.

Approximately eight acres include the city hall and vacant police and courthouse facilities. A vacant fire station and former Human Services building are directly across Central.

The civic center property also includes the Chino Branch Library, the Chino Senior Center, the Seventh Street Theatre, the Chaffey College Chino Center, parking lots and open space.

In addition, the city owns the Chaffey IT Center on the southwest corner of Central and C, as well as the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce building and the Chino Youth Museum building.

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