Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

South Park Presbyterian Church, 1501 30th Street, Rock Island


Business and property owners, residents, community leaders, and college and high school students are invited to participate in a Visual Preference Survey Workshop designed to gather instantaneous electronic opinions from participants that will eventually be incorporated into conceptual streetscape designs for the College Hill District.

The City of Rock Island has been engaged in a planning process with College Hill business stakeholders to create a future vision for this eclectic neighborhood business district centered around two nodes along 14th Avenue at 30th and 38th Streets. The City has commissioned The Lakota Group, a Chicago-based planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm, to help craft a Visual Preference Survey and facilitate a community Open House.

The purpose of the Visual Preference Survey is to introduce community character concepts that can influence streetscape and building facades and gauge stakeholder opinions regarding aesthetics of various elements and ideas. The survey will take the form of a PowerPoint presentation, using electronic key pad polling to create an interactive process with instantaneous results.

The survey will focus on the following design categories and/or elements:

  • Overall District Character
  • Streetscape/Landscape Design
  • Building/Façade Improvements
  • Building Height, Bulk and Setbacks
  • Traffic Calming/Pedestrian Realm
  • Public Spaces
  • Branding/Signage and Identity

Following the survey, the consulting team will facilitate small group discussions concerning the character of the College Hill District and the preferences of the participants.

In addition to the conceptual streetscape designs, The Lakota Group will prepare a summary report of the findings that will help guide decisions about future College Hill District improvements. These elements will be incorporated into the College Hill District Revitalization Plan that is expected to be completed in late fall or early winter.

Support your neighborhood businesses, bring your ideas, and help mold the future of the College Hill District.

Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Seminar for Owners of Historic Buildings Slated for Aug. 21

Learn to balance the unique features of a historic building with the needs to be energy efficient by attending Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Tactics for Historic Structures: Solutions for Homes, Offices, Commercial and Institutional Buildings, sponsored by the City of Rock Island and the Rock Island Preservation Commission.

On Saturday, August 21, four sessions will be offered in two concurrent tracks: one for single-family homes and another for office/commercial and institutional buildings. The 45-minute sessions will each be presented twice, targeted to the two different types of building owners. The beautiful and historic Quarters One on Arsenal Island will be the seminar location.

Bob Yapp, a national leader in historic preservation education, will present "Old Windows Aren't A Pane, They're Green" and will also lead "Mechanical Systems for Residential Properties."

Keeping tax issues fun and interesting, Bob Weigel will present "Federal Tax Credits on Energy Efficiency."

Tom Ayers, City of Rock Island's Chief Building Official, will tackle "Insulation & Other Quick Fixes for Maximum Impact."

Phillip Richards, a LEED-AP certified mechanical engineer from KJWW will discuss "Mechanical Systems for Historic Non-Residential Properties."

Les Wilson and Richard Walker will team up to talk about "Start with an Energy Audit."

Quarters One on Arsenal Island will be the workshop location. The workshop is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Cost to attend is $16.35 and includes an Italian buffet luncheon.  Registration must occur by 5 p.m. on August 16.  Anyone driving to the seminar will be required to show a valid driver's license to gain entry to Arsenal Island, and all attendees will need a photo ID. Foreign Nationals must contact Dana Matson at 309.793.1601 no later than Aug. 9 for special approval and instructions to be admitted onto Arsenal Island.  If you would like to register or receive more information, please call 309.732.2900, email, or visit

The workshop is partially financed through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. In-kind and cash matches were provided by the City of Rock Island.

When the new building for the Rock Island Center for Math & Science (RICMS) opens in August 2010, suddenly there will be a lot more than concrete trucks and contractors headed to 2101 16th Avenue. With the unique situation of placing a new elementary school adjacent to two designated residential historic districts, plus the challenges of terrain, brick streets, arterial streets and new travel patterns for hundreds of families, the Rock Island-Milan School District turned to the Neighborhood Partners' School-Community Task Force for assistance. Together, the two organizations have been working on a draft travel plan that will be rolled out for review and comment on Wednesday, January 27 to parents, neighborhood residents and other interested parties.

The forum will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rock Island Public Library Community Room 401 19th Street, Rock Island. Free childcare for forum attendees will be provided in the Children's Library in the basement of the main library building. Refreshments will be offered.

The RICMS travel plan includes components related to crosswalks, signage, direction and flow of traffic both internal and external to the RICMS campus, walkability due to terrain, car queuing areas, satellite parking, and on-street parking. Strategies to encourage walking, safety education and enforcement of rules and regulations were also identified. Minimizing the influx of automobile traffic into the adjacent neighborhoods was also a key concern.

The forum will include an overview of the process the School District must follow in order to access state and federal funding support to implement travel objectives, then the specific infrastructure strategies for RICMS will be presented. There will also be discussion of specific ideas to encourage children to walk to school and to educate the parents and neighbors about the travel plan. These short presentations will be followed by a Question, Answer & Comment period.

More details at