Friday, March 21, 2014

Center sets meetings to discuss plans

Arts organization seeks input on building project


    The nonprofit Sun Valley Center for the Arts will host two community meetings in early April to discuss the status of the organization’s capital campaign and new building plans. Both meetings will be held at The Center in Ketchum—on Wednesday, April 2, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and Monday, April 7, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
    The Center announced last month that it was discontinuing plans to build a new headquarters facility on Lot 1 of the Simplot subdivision across from the Ketchum Post Office.
    Since the capital campaign was launched in 2006, The Center has expanded its programs, merged with the Company of Fools theater troupe and weathered the challenges of an economic downturn.

Artistic Director Kristin Poole, former Executive Director Sally Boettger and Board Chair John Gaeddert will lead the conversations.

    “As a result, the board and staff believe it is time to initiate a fresh planning process to meet The Center’s future needs and those of the entire community,” a news release states. “These meetings will be an opportunity for Center leadership to review the history of the building project, discuss current thinking, answer questions and hear from constituents about their hopes for a new arts facility in the valley.”
    The Center secured $6.5 million in gifts and pledges during the first two years of the capital campaign. During that time, it purchased the property at the corner of Second Avenue and Fourth Street, completed architectural and engineering designs for a new headquarters, and pursued the relevant municipal approvals.
    In 2012, after merger discussions with the Company of Fools, The Center redesigned the building to create a more comprehensive and versatile year-round home for an expanded Center. The Center has reported that for 19 months it negotiated with the city of Ketchum and Simplot Ketchum Properties on the proposed changes. However, The Center “has not reached an agreement with the Simplots, and the board and staff … have determined that the best course forward is to reconsider all options for a new home and discontinue the original project,” the news release states.
    The Center said there are two goals for these meetings:
· To answer any questions people may have about the project that was proposed for the Second Avenue lot.
· To discuss the organization’s future.
    Artistic Director Kristin Poole, former Executive Director Sally Boettger and Board Chair John Gaeddert will lead the conversation and answer questions at the meetings.
    For more information, call 726-9491.

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