Concept rendering of potential design of town square on East Main Street. Image courtesy of the Town of Riverhead

A second virtual public meeting to discuss the proposed town square will take place Thursday, April 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Zoom meeting link.)

The meeting is hosted by Urban Design Associates, the planning consultants Riverhead Town hired to design the town square.

The town square will be developed on the south side of East Main Street, roughly opposite the Suffolk Theater. Town officials aim to connect Main Street with the Peconic Riverfront by demolishing two vacant buildings and creating an attractive public space in the center of downtown.

The first public design meeting was held April 1. About 40 people attended and gave input on the possible design and uses of the town square. Casual, guided small group discussion took place for about half an hour in small groups assembled in virtual “rooms.” The groups discussed answers to a set of questions posed by group facilitators.

Participants spoke about the things they’d like to see the town square accomplish, such as provide a public gathering space for socializing, musical performances or ice-skating in the winter months.

The planners are also seeking public input with a digital survey an interactive map and an “ideas wall.” Links to all of these tools are posted on a dedicated website. The last day to respond to the online survey is Friday, April 16.

“We really want people to participate. It makes the project better and participating is as easy as it gets,” said community development administrator Dawn Thomas.

Thomas served as a facilitator for one of the small groups two weeks ago.

“I thought it was great. There were a lot of different ideas and there was some consensus toward a family-centric environment,” Thomas said.

“I’d like to see an awesome children’s playground that’s art and science-focused,” Thomas said. The town square will abut the Long Island Science Center’s new home.

Thomas said she’s really looking forward to hearing more ideas from the community in tomorrow night’s session.

She urged everyone to go to the website and take the survey and use the online tools — whether they participate in the virtual public meetings or not.

The more people participate, the better the project will be, Thomas said.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.