Veterans Hall is true community project | March 20, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Perspective - March 20, 2009

Veterans Hall is true community project

The renovation/reconstruction process of the Veterans Memorial Building is a model community project. Its rebirth procedure includes collecting everyone's input to plan the best facility on the spot for the good of all the vested groups.

The Veterans Memorial Building Development Committee of San Ramon Valley spearheaded the drive several years ago to find the perfect site for a new facility to replace the aging Veterans Hall built in 1925 for the veterans of the Great War. Since it was decided to keep the hall at its current location, the group is focusing on fundraising with a goal of $3 million. The Town of Danville has already committed $5 million. The total cost of the reconstruction project has been estimated at $8 million.

Now twice a month the Veterans Building Steering Committee meets; the public is welcome. Architectural firm ARG was chosen for the project and its representatives report at each meeting with updated plans to solicit responses. First it spent time gathering information from each group that uses the Vets Hall as to its current usage, needs and wish list.

ARG has been good at keeping an open mind, not limiting itself to any preconceived notion of a veterans hall. It also notes the significance of the building in the history of Danville and the San Ramon Valley.

The Veterans Building Steering Committee, comprising each vested interest group, is giving equal weight to all of its 10 members. They represent the Town Council, local Veterans, the senior community and historic and architectural compatibility interests. They are all working together with a goal of achieving the best of all worlds - individual spaces plus shared areas.

The next meeting is at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 23, at the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St. The process is thrilling to observe, as the plans begin to emerge on how to create the best Veterans Memorial Building to serve the community. When the project commences, probably in summer 2010, it will begin with confidence that it could not have been done any better.