Tag: Community

Burst of Creativity

I have been exploring ideas to implement at the old Lebanon Paper Box building. There have been a number of different influences which have helped to stir some creative thinking around how that space can be best utilized. Working through the day to day operations, it can sometimes be easy to get lost in the details of how things work versus dreaming from the clouds and not letting tactics snuff creative thought.

self storage lockerThe first idea is geared more towards generating higher revenue per square foot. A majority of the building is currently rented out for long term storage, but there is an opportunity to increase the amount of rent that is being charged per square foot by installing climate controlled self storage units. These units can be setup fairly inexpensively and I would easily be able to add HVAC since the building is wide open.

 

video project on buildingA spontaneous evening at the Downtown Lounge in downtown Lebanon after some work on the building led to bumping into some folks very passionate about the community. The discussions quickly went into a brainstorm of ideas on how to bring more life and community around the area of the building. Ideas ranged from planting grass and creating a green space, projecting artwork on the side of the building during first Friday, advertising, and community movie nights. I am excited about opportunities to be a part of helping to improve the surrounding communities.

The most exciting idea that I am working through at the moment is to develop one of the courtyards around the building to be able to host business events, community events, and possibly even weddings. This effort has the opportunity to be a huge win for the city of Lebanon to give people another place to go and hang out. I envision there being entertainment, breweries, food trucks, and so much more! The photos below are a glimpse of the inspiration for the development of that space. I will be dedicating a blog post specifically to the ideas around this project.

 

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The Lebanon Community Responds

I asked and the Lebanon City residents answered. In an earlier blog, Lebanon Paper Box: Day 40, I asked for feedback from the community of Lebanon on their ideas of what they would like to see incorporated in the the old Lebanon Paper Box building. Here is a recap of some of the responses that I have received so far. 

It has been a little over a week since I published the blog post, Lebanon Paper Box: Day 40, and hit social media to solicit some suggestions and ideas about what the community would like to see at this predominant landmark in Lebanon City. The suggestions have been enlightening and has provided a glimpse of what is on the minds of the community, albeit only a small segment was sampled. I have received feedback from over 50 residents thus far.

Below is a consolidated recap of the suggestions that I have received. They are not listed in any particular order. Some of the ideas come as no surprise, while others were very unexpected…

  1. Homeless shelter
  2. Veteran shelter
  3. Roller skating rink
  4. Something tech related and interesting
  5. Recreation center
  6. Retail stores
  7. Apartment building with affordable housing
  8. Ballerina school
  9. Art gallery and studios
  10. Karate school
  11. Public clinic
  12. Go karts
  13. Something similar to the GoggleWorks in Reading
  14. Trampoline park
  15. Museum of the history of Lebanon
  16. Grocery store
  17. Skate park
  18. Chick-Fil-A
  19. Place for kids to play
  20. Community center
  21. Lebanon annex of the Spooky Nook Sports complex
  22. Connect with the Lebanon county Career and Technology Center during renovation
  23. Great location with a bike trail. I’d be so happy just to see it restored

A common thread, throughout a majority of the suggestions, is that Lebanon City is in need of community events and affordable things for residents to do. Primarily for the younger residents. It’s also clear to see that there is a lot of pride for the city and residents are passionate about providing programs for the homeless and our Veterans.

Based on all of this information, I have some research to do to better understand what programs already exist and where there may be some gaps to fill. Perhaps there are already some things in place that may require some public education, or perhaps not. Ultimately, the extent of feedback is motivating in that there is a community that cares. In time, there will be the a call for participation and action to help bring opportunities to fruition, this will be the true test of the community spirit.

The call for suggestions has not only spawned a list of ideas, but it has also created some dialogue between residents on the official Facebook page of the Lebanon Paper Box building. The conversations have been a mixture of constructive and destructive criticism. I have not been moderating the conversation as I want everyone’s voice to be heard. After all, criticism is a sign of doing something and making a contribution.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
– Aristotle

In the meantime, keep the ideas and suggestions coming! Also, give some thought to how some of these ideas can be accomplished though other initiatives. This is just one building in the City of Lebanon, but it can be a part of a bigger movement to help bring life into the surrounding community. This is bigger than one person or one building and it is going to require the effort of many.

If you want to become more involved in the Lebanon community, but don’t know where to start, feel free to reach out and I can help.

 

 

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