DECEMBER 19, 2017 -- The Scotch Plains Downtown Redevelopment Committee (SPDRC) released the results of its month-long survey today on both a new, expanded Scotch Plains library and a community center. 773 people participated in the survey aimed to gather input and evaluate the needs of the public for these facilities. 48 percent of respondents believe that Scotch Plains needs a new, expanded library. 30 percent don’t believe Scotch Plains needs a new, expanded library and 22 percent are undecided. 58 percent of respondents said Scotch Plains needs a community center. 20 percent don’t believe Scotch Plains needs a community center and 22 percent are undecided.
83 percent of respondents believe the Scotch Plains library is a very important or important community service. Respondents would like to see more children’s activities (40 percent), additional computer/work stations (35 percent), additional quiet reading spaces (34 percent), and additional meeting spaces (33 percent) in a new, expanded library. Respondents frequently commented that they would like to see family activities/programs, sports activities/programs, arts & crafts activities/programs, summer camp activities/programs, volunteering activities/programs, meeting spaces, multi-purpose room(s), pool(s), senior activities/programs, children activities/programs, music activities/programs, and teen activities/programs in a community center.
“These survey results confirm what I have heard from SPDRC members and the public at our meetings: that Scotch Plains residents want both a new, expanded library and a community center,” said Mayor Al Smith. “People also want the new, expanded library and community center to be downtown. This will be an important draw and bring more foot traffic to our downtown. I have discussed eventually repurposing the town hall building as a community center, and I will continue to get feedback from the public on their views of a new, expanded library and a community center.”
The survey participants were mostly Scotch Plains residents (99 percent) between 35 to 54 years of age (58 percent). Participants were 66 percent female and 32 percent male. 85 percent of respondents use the library in some frequency. 82 percent of respondents said they have a library card.
As part of downtown redevelopment, the SPDRC has discussed both a new, expanded library and a community center for the downtown area as a way to draw more people downtown. This survey was developed by the social recreation study group of the SPDRC, and was conducted from 11/3/17 to 12/4/17 and was administered online using the survey platform SurveyMonkey, which was set to accept one submission per IP address. The survey was shared online on the Township website, Facebook page, Twitter, and Friday e-newsletters. The survey was also administered through hard copies available at Scotch Plains Town Hall and the Scotch Plains Library. The survey is not a scientific survey of the population, but an opportunity for those who care about or who are interested in a new, expanded library, a community center, and downtown redevelopment to give their feedback and opinions to the SPDRC.
To view the full report and results of the survey, please click the links:
Excel Spreadsheet: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Qbj8pBUJUbFNv6bb2jHvZoRuTiD8GnpL
For more information on the Downtown Redevelopment Initiative, please visit our website: https://www.scotchplainsnj.gov/departments/downtown-redevelopment-committee/