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Dixon Strong Leadership Committee Press Release
Margo Empen
Sunday, October 06, 2019

DPS #170 worked cooperatively with the Dixon Strong Leadership Committee to make the community survey available to our parents and community members through our social media platforms.  We wanted to share the survey results that were made available this weekend in the Telegraph.  Below you will find the Press Release and we will also be sharing survey information.  Thank you Dixon Strong Leadership Committee for making this information available to the Dixon Public School family.


#DixonStrong Leadership Team Status Update as of October 3, 2019

The #DixonStrong Leadership team has engaged the Dixon Park District, Dixon School District, and Dixon Family YMCA to determine the specific needs for each of these organizations to better serve our community.  Those needs assessments are being finalized and will be used in conjunction with the Community Center Interest Survey to prioritize amenities in the community center. 

The Dixon Park District is in the process of selecting a design build company.  In September, the park district disseminated a “Request for Qualifications” (RFQ) with specific requirements and qualifications for this type of project.  Once the amenities are determined for the community center and the design build company has been selected, the company will provide a cost for the project.  Once the cost has been determined, the #DixonStrong Leadership Team will work with the Park District, School District, and Dixon YMCA to finalize the funding plan.

Finally, the Research Committee is currently examining numerous potential locations for the community center.  They are expected to make a preliminary recommendation within the next 2 weeks.  After the community center design is finalized, the Research Committee will assemble comprehensive projections for community center revenues and ongoing operations and maintenance costs. 

Community Priority Survey Results

In June, the #DixonStrong Leadership Team launched a survey to engage our community and determine community priorities.  Six-hundred and seventy-two community members responded to the survey.  This short survey asked community members to select their top three priorities for Dixon moving forward.  The community identified educational enhancements, recreational facilities, and new business recruitment and retention. 

In addition, the survey asked, “What are your favorite things about Dixon?”  The top four responses were downtown/riverfront, overall location, cost of living, and town pride. 

On the other hand, this question revealed community members’ least favorite things about Dixon are employment opportunities, education/schools, and athletics/sporting culture. At the end of the survey, two-hundred and fifty-six residents stated that they would like to be more involved in the community.

#DixonStrong Leadership Team Sets Three Priorities

Based upon this community engagement survey, the #DixonStrong Leadership Team set three strategic priorities:  improve academic performance, support a community center, and assist in new business development.  To accomplish these goals, #DixonStrong has created four subcommittees: School, Research, Community Engagement, and Capital Campaign.

Community Center Interest Survey Results

In early September, the Research and Community Engagement committees collaborated to release a “Community Center Interest” survey and received 1,143 responses.  Approximately 54% of the respondents lived in the Dixon city limits, while 40% lived inside the Dixon Public School District but outside the Dixon city limits.

When asked about their initial reaction toward the park district’s vision to build a community center, 22.2% (254 people) stated they were “opposed” to the community center[KF1] , while 47.4% (542 people) said they were “excited”, 16.6% (190) of people said they were “curious”, and 6.5% (74 people) said they were “cautious”. 

When asked what three things excite them most about a community center, approximately 66% (750 people) of respondents said they were most excited about meeting the recreational needs of children, while 46% (525 people) said they were excited about reducing travel to other communities, exactly 30% (343 people) said they were excited to catch up to what other communities have, and 26% (300 people) said they were excited about increased revenue to our community.

Respondent were also asked to choose their top three concerns.  The top three concerns were ongoing operations and maintenance costs (49.2% / 562 people), community center location (43.5% / 497 people), and initial construction costs (42.5% / 486 people).

The survey asked, “How would your household most likely use or be involved with each of the following amenities at the community center?”  Responses were gathered for academic resources, multipurpose sport courts, social amenities, indoor pool/aquatics facility, outdoor pool/aquatics facility, multipurpose room dedicated to the arts, indoor turf fields, and an indoor walking/running track.  The community showed significant interest in each area, with the following activities being of greatest interest for each amenity:

Academic:  Summer educational offerings and afterschool care and programming

Multipurpose sports courts:  Yoga and fitness classes, basketball, volleyball, and tennis/pickleball

Social:  Youth recreation room, concessions and café, meeting/conference rooms

Indoor pool:  Open recreational swimming for children was by far the top priority

Outdoor pool:  Play equipment for older children was by far the top priority, followed by a zero-depth swimming for younger children

Multipurpose room for the arts:  New park district programs, auxiliary space for schools and community, and creative birthday parties for children

Indoor turf fields:  Indoor sports practice and leagues, recreational play for kids, and winter golf driving range

Indoor walking / running track:  recreational walking/running both year-round and during inclement weather, and hosting youth sporting events