DUNWOODY, Ga. — The Dunwoody City Council got a glimpse into the future during two presentations at its Sep. 14 work session.
The first involved art installations that will be colorful, creative and innovative. The second featured ideas to make the city more accessible to cyclists.
Todd Bressi, who has been hired by the city to create the City of Dunwoody Art Implementation Plan, presented findings from community engagement meetings that outlined their preferences for city art locations and content.
“We heard that people like functional art that is playful and civic, and emphasizes the importance of community and coming together,” Bressi said. “Public art will take emerging City of Dunwoody to the next level, connecting the community and visitors through a colorful, fun and explorable collection of art and gatherings.”
Bressi said the overwhelming sentiment for city art is to “change the perception of the city and reflect its growing creative energy — not stodgy, but hip, cool and funky.”
Projects could include initiatives that the city commissions on its own, public/private partnerships and those that are self-generated by the community, Bressi said.
Most of those citizens surveyed said projects that were appealing included art with a purpose, like a seating area or bike racks, enhancements to bridges, roads and parks, artwork outside the city’s MARTA station and murals that would be created by the public.
He also discussed “game-changer” projects that may take several years to complete and involve multiple partnerships.
There was no action taken at the Sep. 14 meeting. The council plans to continue to study the plan and make recommendations at future sessions about specific projects.
“It’s very exciting to see where we could go with city art,” said Councilwoman Pam Tallmadge.
The council also heard from Dunwoody Public Works Director Michael Smith about the status of bike lanes in the city, and future plans to establish connecting routes throughout town.
“The city has made significant advances since 2011, and has, for the most part, connected from east to west on Mt. Vernon Road and north to south on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road,” Smith said.
Plans through 2025 are to continue to connect routes from public facilities to others, with the exception of the southeast corner of the city, which has streets that are controlled for the most part by the Georgia Department of Transportation, Smith said.
Councilman Tom Lambert urged the council to continue to push connectivity throughout the city, especially in the southeast areas.
The council, by a 6-1 vote, also approved the low bid of $279,000 to demolish the former Austin Elementary School on Roberts Drive. The raising will include the gymnasium and the main building, but not the playgrounds.
Several council members commented on citizen feedback that the building should have been considered for repurposing as an art center or an educational facility instead of being taken down.
“The school was in terrible shape,” said Councilman Jim Riticher. “According to conservative estimates, it would have cost about $16 million to bring it back to minimum standards.”
Joe Seconder was the dissenting vote on the demolition contract.
In other action, the council:
• Welcomed the latest member of the police force, Bailey Johnson, who graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in criminal justice.
• Approved $184,931 in CARES Act funds to purchase 84 laptops for city employees who are working remotely.
• Allowed the sale of a surplus vehicle, a 2012 Chevy Tahoe, to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department.
• The council adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters but took no action after returning.