Notes from New Town Hall Brainstorming Session

Thank you to those who joined us at the Rocky Ripple Town Hall Brainstorming session on Saturday, February 4th! We had good discussion and shared some great ideas related to the future of town hall. A special thank you to the Community Association for the morning refreshments; we appreciate you!

For those who did not have the opportunity to attend, we wanted to share notes from our brainstorming session:

  • We sorted the meeting into 12 categories and asked residents to provide their thoughts on how their future vision of the town hall would fit into the different categories. Residents shared their thoughts and then went back and were asked to pick their top three most important ideas for the future of town hall.
  • We have included the top voted ideas and corresponding categories below, but you can also see the full list in the appendix of this document:
    • Location: votes were divided between Hohlt Park (for ease of storage for park and festival events) and NOT Hohlt Park.
    • Vision for future Town Hall: should have lots of windows and natural views, as well as an outdoor living space and/or firepit and should blend into nature.
    • Landscaping: should be very natural and easily maintained.
    • The Town Hall should look: environmentally nice, face south, be twice as large as the present Town Hall, blend in with the environment, have good views and be made of natural materials
    • The town storage: should store everything in one space (plow and outdoor equipment may be considered separately)
    • Kitchen: should be basic commercial and should also be separated from storage and cleaning supplies
    • Parking: should be green and natural
    • Wish list: outdoor amphitheater, solar panels/outdoor space and have a community-center like space with Wi-Fi and open access

In the appendix, the bolded notes in the appendix represent any sticky note that received an “important” sticker vote; anything bolded and italicized received more than two votes.

We will also be looking to schedule follow-up meetings to think more about key priority areas, including location and key indoor and outdoor design elements. The Town Council will share more information related to next meetings as part of the February 14th Town Board Meeting. This was our first brainstorming session, but additional meetings will be planned with more chances to share your voice.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out with ideas or questions.

Your Rocky Ripple Town Council

Mandy, Randy and Megan



  • Location?
    • Not Hohlt Park (perhaps in lots that are vacant and can be purchased or maybe Fountain Park), Patterson or Fountain Park (NOT Hohlt Park), Rocky Ripple was named for the river (we must have a location with river views), must have a structure with a river view (include a boathouse, bait shop, outpost or put-in for paddlers, does not need to be the “hall” but need a river gathering space), not Hohlt Park, sell off other town lots to purchase adjacent parcels to expand Hohlt Park, purchase additional houses or land next to Hohlt Park, Hohlt Park (place the building angled to face the center of the park), Hohlt Park (surrounding neighbors are already used to it for community events), would we have public restrooms if we put the town hall in Hohlt Park?, Hohlt Park to help with festival setup, Hohlt Park (real parking area, walkable for festival, some storage, attractive for indoor/outdoor events)
  • What’s your vision for town hall?
    • Gathering space for our RR community (a raised structure with a view of the river!), lots of windows (outdoor living space/decking, firepit area, exterior blends into nature), environmentally progressive (grey water, passive solar, green space), town marshal office, the heart of the town (a great space to rent, not a disruption to our green space), gallery for artists year round, need a good view out of many windows, expandable spaces that can be used for different things/be different sizes, twice the size of present town hall, two stories (top story has floor to ceiling windows overlooking – depending on location – nature, not houses), angled roof facing south for solar energy, ground landscaped with patio/tables/chairs/umbrellas/heaters
  • Landscaping?
    • Very natural and easily maintained, configurable outdoor space for events, native plants, edible plants, RRCA members could handle the landscaping (could be a good community volunteering opportunity), if a vacant lot is used we can keep as many plants intact as possible, more green
  • What should the new town hall look like?
    • Rustic and log cabin, skylights and sun tunnel and natural light, ties into the look that we have in Hohlt Park pavilion (rustic and natural), environmentally nice! (compass facing south, twice as big as the present), use our tulip trees for cabinetry and adornments, roof facing south for solar energy, raised structure with beautiful views, natural to blend in with environment (natural light, vista views, natural material, at river), tons of window and lots of natural light/materials, if in Hohlt Park, put the hall in the area that is only used once a year for artist parking where there is lots of natural light (paved area for parking from Crown to town hall, town hall situated at angle with glass windows overlooking pavilion)
  • Other dream list items?
    • Outdoor drinking fountain, increased green space, town goats for public use, dog park, White River nature connection, boathouse/boat storage for the Rocky Ripple community and/or others who frequent the river, lots of Edison lights, an elevator, a great speaker and presentation system, up-to-date technology for multiuse and multi-purpose, pool, dark park, family restrooms and privacy areas for moms, places people could rent for their river equipment and maybe lockers to rent for personal items, outdoor amphitheater, solar panels, better office space for the town marshal/manager, places for people that are always open with wifi access (library/community center “feel”), library with books/games/sports equipment
  • Storage?
    • Storage for tables and chairs (and BINGO machine) on the top floor, keep tables and chairs at town hall (not trucks and plows), under town hall, keep everything in one building for cost effectiveness, organize the records/archive area so it is protected, firewood storage, don’t need to attach vehicle storage to town hall, flat bed trailer to hold tables and chairs
  • Parking?
    • Should be expanded, have space for cars and bikes, paved, gravel, grassy green parking space, bioretention green parking urban heat island, earth-friendly (green, not asphalt), good water management
  • Kitchen?
    • Commercial kitchen in the same building with everything else (cost effective), commercial kitchen with two fridges, basic commercial kitchen, galley kitchenette, separate from cleaning and storage, induction range, kitchen space that can be used for catering/commercial and food prep, kitchen with “warm up” capabilities to heat food being brought in, community kitchen/cooking classes/coordinate with White Pine/more community-friendly to gather around a table, a commercial kitchen would be expensive (do we really want renters using a full kitchen), can identify the appliances we need and go from there, yes improve the kitchen
  • What do we want to do with the stuff we already have at town hall?
    • Use some of the wood in the new town hall, evaluate the use and value (sell and give away the stuff we don’t need), temporary storage (throw away, give away, sell), use what is most important in the new space from a historical perspective
  • Should everything be stored in one place or more?
    • Yes (in one place), more efficient to retain all business and community activities in one place, one location for convenience and to save on construction costs, not necessary to have more than one structure, should have more locations (separate building for truck and plow and ground equipment with easy access to the street), separate office space for police office
  • Rental configuration?
    • Small club room for rental (bigger than an RR living room), one floor for rentals (one for town business), list of existing revenue streams and potential new ones with new facilities, second floor ballroom, a new town hall will be an attractive rental (need to make sure that adjacent neighbors are okay with this), code entry (change for each rental, good for the one rental only), configuration that can use more environmentally-friendly energy
  • What don’t you like about the current town hall and what should change?
    • Almost everything, a reliable roof, location is just perfect (just needs a facelift and large windows to see the river), what we use town hall for (need to be able to do these in the future and more), needs windows, need decent water pressure, limited windows or natural light (no view of the river, low ceilings, poor HVAC, no outdoor space, limited technology and no curb appeal)