people under a large tent in a open area

Feb 1st Update on the Village Commons

The Cortes Island Community Foundation is inviting Cortes residents to an update on the Village Commons, 4-6 PM at Mansons Hall on Thursday, February 1st.

“The goal for this Village Commons update is to have the Cortes Island Community Foundation present our design plan for the Village Commons Pavilion, which is going to start construction pretty soon. Then also hear from some other stakeholders like the Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA), Cortes Housing Society and the Fire Hall to talk about any plans that they have upcoming for the downtown Manson’s area,” explained Isabella McKnight, Executive Administrator of the Cortes Island Foundation.  

Isabella McKnight – submitted photo

“It’s important for the community because they can learn what the plans are and start to think about how they can utilize the new opportunities to their benefit.  We also hope that it inspires   small business owners, large business owners, and other community members to dream about what  they would like to see for Manson’s in the future.”

CC: During the past year, what have been the challenges and what have been the successes as you’ve been rolling out towards this?  

Isabella McKnight: “Personally, I’m not extremely involved in the Village Commons land. We have Richard Andrews as our project manager for that specific program.” 

“I think one of the main challenges with any large project like this is fulfilling all the grant stipulations. That’s a large process, making sure you’re crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s.” 

“One of the really beautiful things and successes about the Village Commons, over the past year, has been all the community use that it’s gotten.  Such as The Friday Market Music and the Cortes Community Health Association (CCHA) using it for their after school care programs such as Adventures in Leadership and the Teen Szene. That’s all been really awesome to see.”  

CC: What’s coming next over the next six months or year?

Isabella McKnight: “Our next step is holding the event and showing the community kind of the sneak peek of what the Cortes Island Community Foundation has been working on behind the scenes in relation to the Village Commons project.” 

“This spring will be breaking ground to build the pavilion.  If you come to the event, you will be seeing the  preview of the design that’s going on for that,  as well as the road that’s currently being built there.”

“The thing that I’m most excited about is that Ernie Puglas designed and has crafted a traditional Welcome Pole for the space. So he’s been working on that for the past I want to say eight months approximately. I think it’s on some of the last stages of the painting.  There will be an unveiling and a really beautiful ceremony for that, hopefully in the spring, or early summer.”

“I would really like to encourage people to come to the Village Commons community update. Everybody is welcome. We will be providing light snacks and refreshments.” 

“It’s just a really great opportunity to hear from not only the Cortes Island Community Foundation, but all of the partners in the Manson’s area, such as the SCCA, Cortes Housing Society, and the Fire Hall, about any of their upcoming projects and updates that they’d like to share. There’ll be time after the presentation to ask questions as well.”

Top image credit: Friday Live Music in the Village Commons – Photo courtesy Cortes Island Community Foundation

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