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City officials have begun considering what artwork will adorn the incoming roundabout and seek public input

PHOTO COURTESY OF ODOT - Work began on the median and curbing of the roundabout this past week and will continue into next week.

What type of artwork should greet motorists entering Prineville from the west?

That is the question that city officials and other members of the community hope to answer in the coming months as construction on a new roundabout reaches its conclusion this fall.

City of Prineville leaders are currently seeking input from the public as a recently formed Tom McCall Roundabout Committee considers what type of art will adorn the ingoing traffic structure.

"The community should absolutely have input on the roundabout design," said City Councilor Teresa Rodriguez. "This roundabout will be the entrance to our community from the west. Reflecting history and culture in this feature is an introduction to the community they are about to visit."

The committee first met on Feb. 13, said ShanRae Hawkins, the city's public relations representative. At that session, they decided to put together a public survey that would help them determine what types of themes and features residents would like to see.

"Is there anything that you would like us to take into consideration?" she said.

The five-question survey is already available on both the City of Prineville's website and its Facebook page. One day after opening, it had garnered more than 500 responses, the majority of which were positive, Hawkins said.

Klann agrees that the art feature presents a great opportunity to make a statement about the community to motorists as they enter Prineville.

"Currently, when you come in on Highway 126, you are looking at the back of a lot of buildings," he said. "It's not the prettiest view. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to change that view."

So far, the majority of survey respondents want the city to consider themes that highlight Crook County's cowboy ranching heritage. The most common words emerging in responses include rodeo, cowboys, ranching and country.

This response seems to fall in line with the themes committee members had considered during the initial meeting two months ago. There they considered a piece with four quadrants, with one highlighting mining, another ranching, then logging and finally technology.

At this point, little is set in stone as construction of the roundabout is expected to continue for several more months. ODOT spokesman Peter Murphy said contractors are currently busy pouring concrete for the median and curbing along the traffic structure.

"We are doing well," he said. "The weather hasn't really been a problem, so everything is on schedule."

Going forward, the committee will meet again on June 12 at a roundabout feature workshop that will include members of the Prineville City Council. The event will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. at Prineville City Hall.

"Everyone is welcome to attend that workshop," Klann said. "If you have some constructive input, please swing by."

Those who can't attend are still encouraged to participate in the survey, which will remain open through June 4, or people can email or call Klann to weigh in on their preferences.

"Let me know your thoughts," he said. "We have a wonderful opportunity. Let's make the most of it."

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