Nashvillians will have four chances to chime in on the future of the fairgrounds.
Mayor Karl Dean’s task force on the future of the state fairgrounds property will hold public meetings at 6:30 p.m. April 12, May 10, June 14 and July 12, before presenting recommendations in August.
The meetings will follow a format utilized by the nonprofit Civic Design Center in which participants discuss their visions in small round-table groups facilitated by task force members.
According to CDC’s Gary Gaston, the first meeting will look at the big picture with subsequent meetings becoming more and more focused.
“Each public session gets a little more detailed,” he said at Monday’s organizational meeting of the task force.
“Every comment we hear, we’ll keep track … and that’s all put together in a report given to the committee and the mayor’s office,” he said.
David Pritchard, who leads the Trimble Action Group, a south Nashville neighborhood association, said it’s important to include the ideas and work that have already been done through the past few years.
“There are a lot of people who have worked on this for three years and they are burnt out. I’ve gotten a lot of calls, ‘What about the work we’ve done?’,” he said.
Gaston said for the project to be successful, it’s important ideas old and new are included.
Councilwoman Sandra Moore, whose district include the fairgrounds, encouraged Gaston and officials from the mayor’s office to make strides to include non-English speakers from the neighborhoods surrounding the fairgrounds, perhaps Metro’s most diverse area.
Moore reminded attendees Monday that nothing concrete will be decided during the meetings.
“Our main goal is public engagement. All we are doing is recommending,” she said. “We’re not telling nobody what to do.”
The meetings will be held at either Wilson Hall or the Fifty Forward building on the fairgrounds campus.
The Civic Design Center will have a Web site — www.civicdesigncenter.org/fairgrounds — online by the end of the week.