WATERVILLE — The public on Wednesday is invited to a workshop to help decide what Castonguay Square will look like in the future.

The workshop, to be held 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Chace Community Forum in the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, at 150 Main St., is the second of three workshops being held to help redesign the square, located next to City Hall downtown.

The planning part of the project is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town program, with support from the city and Colby College, and seeks input from area residents, businesses and others on how the park can serve the community best, according to officials from Waterville Creates!, which is hosting the workshops with the city and Colby.

Wednesday’s session will focus on interactive visioning, sketching and designing to synthesize the principles and ideas discussed at the first workshop, held Oct. 17 in The Center, at 93 Main St. At that workshop, participants discussed some features in Castonguay Square they thought should be kept in the park, including the big, old elm tree and the horse watering trough, both of which have been there for many years.

Some people said features that should be removed include an information kiosk at Main Street that not only blocks the view of the square, but also hinders access to it. Residents, business owners and others attended the workshop, where they discussed ideas such as removing overgrown greenery and installing creative lights.

The workshops are being held as Waterville Creates! and Colby work to raise $18 million to $20 million to transform The Center next to the square into a hub for art and film.

On Wednesday participants will work together in teams to help create designs for the square using a large map and materials including construction paper, pom-poms and stickers, and sample design elements provided at scale such as benches, trees, an audience of 50 people and 200 people. Three potential options will be given to the design team.

Waterville Creates! earlier this year was awarded a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town program for the redesign planning process.

Two teams of architects join Waterville Creates!, Colby and city officials in hosting the workshops: Bob Metcalf and Julia Frederick, landscape architects from Mitchell & Associates, of Portland; and Neil Kittredge and Rayna Erlich, architects from Beyer Blindle Belle, of New York.

The square is used for all sorts of activities, including the farmers market, the Taste of Waterville, the holiday festival Kringleville, Waterville Rocks! concerts, weddings and more.

The architects visited the city in September, toured Castonguay Square and the RiverWalk at Head of Falls, which was designed by Mitchell & Associates, and met with downtown business and property owners, city employees and those who use the square. They plan to develop preliminary design concepts following the two workshops with an eye toward presenting them to the community for feedback at a final workshop in January. A final design is expected to be presented to the City Council in February.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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