Naming Process For 'Elk Grove Civic Center' Back to Square One

One of the suggested names, The Silo, proved to be particularly unpopular
in an online survey conducted by the City of Elk Grove. |   

January 25, 2018 |  

Following a months-long process that included outside consultants, meeting with local media, and online surveys, the Elk Grove City Council took no action to name the development currently called the Elk Grove's Civic Center.

While the entire area, which is in the city's special planning area known as Laguna Ridge located south of Elk Grove Boulevard and east of Bruceville Road has been dubbed as the civic center, the name of the area's first significant structure will continue to be referred to as the Elk Grove Aquatics Center. That facility will include a competition-grade pool and other recreational aquatic amenities.

Although there will be no immediate name change, it was not for lack of effort. At their January 10 meeting, city council members rejected branding names, CNTR Point, and The Pendulum, that were devised by branding experts.

As a follow-up, city staff gathered input from local media and conducted an online survey seeking feedback on six proposed names. The survey showed respondents embraced retention of the Elk Grove Civic Center name and The Grove while rejecting The Canopy and The Silo as a possible identifiers. 

During public comment, residents offered feedback on the process and suggested possible names. 

Speaking first was Randy Bekker who questioned the use of the marketing consultants. The city paid the two firms $38,000 for their ideas.

"The word on the street, to be honest with you, we didn't do a good job with the public's money," Bekker said. "However we derived to spend $38,000 was the wrong thing to do."

Following Bekker was Lynn Wheat who said they hold off naming the area until it takes on more shape. She did, however, throw out a suggestion that it be named after a prominent developer, Louie Pappas, whom the city is said to be interested in developing 20-acres of city-owned property in the special planning area as a so-called lifestyle shopping center.

"Maybe we can name it after an influential person in our community, or has been active in our community, not necessarily living in our community." Wheat said. "So how about the Pappas Pool and Civic Center."

During deliberation, the four council members in attendance (Stephanie Nguyen was absent) tossed around several suggestions. Council member Pat Hume noted his dislike of the suggested name The Grove.

"When people refer to Elk Grove as the Grove, it grates the you know what out of me for someone who grew up here," Hume said. "Much like someone who came from The City [San Francisco] can't stand someone calling it Frisco."

While Council Member Darren Suen suggested, and Hume expressed agreement, with the CNTR (Center) Point name, as suggested by the consultants, Mayor Steve Ly was more inclined to go with the name that the area informally has been adopted.

"I think a number of people already know this as Elk Grove Civic Center, why not Elk Grove Civic Center," Ly suggested. 

Council member Steve Detrick noted that there are no plans for government buildings in the development, and the name should be reflective of that.

"Now we are looking at the whole district and trying to have a name that is representative of the district, not the land that the city owns, " he said. Detrick also pointed out the CNTR also showed high-negatives on the recently completed survey. 

Following the deliberations, Assistant city manager Jason Behrman suggested since there was no consensus, the aquatic center could be continued to be called the Elk Grove Aquatic Center. As development progresses, Behrmann said naming the area could be reconsidered. 

After hearing Behrman's suggestion, the council agreed to revisit that matter.

"That's the best we can do today," Hume concluded.   

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