Eugene City Hall From A Kids' Eye View

May 29, 2015

Isabella Shaft and Barbara Elliott are all smiles after Mayor Kitty Piercy gave them a glowing review of their design for the plaza for the new city hall.
Credit Angela Kellner

As City of Eugene staff continue to refine plans for the new city hall, students at Camas Ridge Elementary shared their design ideas with the mayor this week.

Inside Donna Dubois' 4th/5th grade class, teams of students proudly show off their city hall plaza designs to Mayor Kitty Piercy. They glued down small pebbles to make pathways, painted plastic lids to represent fountains and added green material to represent grass.

Barbara Elliot and Isabella Shaft got the Mayor's attention with the small details of their multi-dimensional design.

Elliot: "We wanted a greenhouse for anyone in the community to plant any of their seeds they had from home. Making sure we have enough garden soil in our community."

Shaft: "And we also have a lot of fruit trees and stuff."

Mayor Piercy: "You guys did a lot of work on this."

Elliot: "We wanted it to be really creative and fun for anyone to come in. So I go to meetings with my uncle many times and I always want to make sure little kids have time to go play if they have a brother, an older brother they can go playing.

Shaft: "And then we have a pond for the fish. You can throw coins in the pond or the fountain and it'll all go like to an animal shelter or Food For Lane County."

Mayor: "So you have benches all around, right?

Elliot: "Yes."

Mayor: "I can see them, so you can enjoy all parts of it, right? Thanks so much for showing it to me you guys."

At another desk, Mayor Piercy found out what was most important to a group of boys.

Boys: "You could also play games."

Mayor: "Places to eat and have fun, right? Yup, yup. And this here?"

Boys: "Laser tag and paintball."

Mayor: "Oh it looks like a laser tag place. You did a good job on that."

Laser tag was a popular theme with the boys. The mayor says she'll have to think about that one.

"I'm Elizabeth Danforth."

"I'm Olivia Carol."

They were the last students to show off their design ideas to Mayor Piercy.

Elizabeth Danforth and Olivia Carol stand with Mayor Kitty Piercy after showing her their city hall plaza design ideas.
Credit Angela Kellner

Girls: "That is our beehive."

Mayor: "Where you raise bees there, right?"

Girls: "Yeah, and then the honey goes to the café."

Mayor: "Well you know we passed a resolution to get rid of neonicotinoids to save the bees, so that would be very appropriate."

"Here is our Calapooia art room. And I was hoping that if there are some art projects that summer camps they could go in there and do it or even school field trips."

Mayor Piercy reflects on what she learned from the students.

Mayor: "It makes me think more from a kid's eye than and from adult's eye and what they might like to have to do that would make it meaningful to them. And that includes activities, and open space and food. They're thinking about what would make them want to go to our city hall. Their parents or someone might have to go to meeting and so the kids have to find something else to do, so very thoughtful, very thoughtful."

And 5th grader Isabella Shaft said it would be really cool if the city used any of her ideas in the final project.

Shaft: "Because if we went back there with our kids or grandkids, we could say, this is what we, we helped design this."