Thursday, September 1, 2016

Performing Arts Facility Consultant Sought

Fairhope, Alabama

too costly to renovate?


RFQ bids are being sought for a consultant to do a feasibility study for a performing arts facility for the city -- including its size, location, how it would be funded (would the community even support one?) and the type of programming to be presented there.

"The City of Fairhope invites consultants to submit qualifications to conduct a Performing Arts Center Feasibility Study, as outlined in this document and attachments. The City is seeking an enthusiastic and creative consultant qualified to produce a strategic plan outlining a step-by-step road map tailored to achieving our specific goals for funding, phasing, implementing and sustaining a performing arts center in Fairhope."

Initial cost for the consultant would be up to $35K but could go higher if need be.

An Arts Committee could then be formed to evaluate the consultant's findings and make a recommendation to the city council: some sort of public/private partnership is envisioned.

At least two private organizations have attempted to raise money over the years for a facility, the Fairhope Center for the Performing Arts and Colony Center for the Performing Arts, but both failed and some leftover funds were used for the new Faulkner Amphitheater.

Possible locations mentioned over the years include the K-1 property, the Dyas triangle, Fairhope high School campus, behind the library, and city hall/civic center campus (rebuild).

The K-1, vacant since 2010 and deteriorating badly, is owned by the Baldwin County Board of Education but the building needs extensive costly restoration/renovation: Some local non profits (FEEF) have been in discussion with them about helping convert the property for education/performing arts, but the status of those negotiations are not being made public.

The cost of renovating it could be much more than the cost of a new building and complex school board political issues could be problematic as well.


Anonymous said...

Parking is key.

Anonymous said...

May as well face it, the old k-1 has become an eyesore, beyond repair and has to come down.

susan said...

Yep. Our hopeless school board let it run down and now it is useless. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

May be some real leaders will show up someday here and on the schlool board to take on these things ... .

Roger said...

The BOE's back to its old sneaky self.
Sad to see.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another debacle in the making, like the library, airport, and soccer complex.
Why does a city this size need one?

Are we going to get a Fairhope symphony orchestra too?

another money pit.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for a performing arts center, but the Dyas Triangle? Please. We can do better than that. That's a mature forest and should be treated with respect. There are a bunch of run down buildings, downtown and in the "warehouse" district that would be much more appropriate and more cost effective.

Publisher said...

Back in the late 1990's a performing arts center was proposed as a component of the Village North PUD, on the eastern segment of the so-called 'Dyas triangle' at the city's northern entrance

When the deal fell through, all of the trees in the interior of the property were harvested for lumber; some were left around the perimeter only.

What is left in the interior of that segment is only new growth trees, shrubs, weeds, etc.

The Village North plan was later approved anyway; but without the arts center.

The western segment of the triangle (west of
Veteran's drive) has been harvested for wood several times as well, but not in recent history.

Anonymous said...

Not his fault ... Mike Ford taught Cecil how to be a sneaky, slick politician. To bad.

Publisher said...

We appreciate our reader's comments and try to post as many as we can, but have to delete some when other readers object or they do not meet our high standards. (You should see some of the ones we routinely block!)

There is a grain of truth to the thread here though: recently our reporters have noticed a growing lack of transparency from the school board concerning this and some other issues: state open meeting laws are apparently not being followed to allow the media and public full access to their deliberations.

Granted, it is much easier to do in private when nobody's watching, but that is contrary to the law and further erodes trust in the Board: puts employees in an impossible situation too.

Anonymous said...

Please Fairhope - give it up! The county school board is not going to let it happen. Please stop wasting our money on these unnecessary "studies".

Anonymous said...

I'm in favor of preserving the school and transforming this property into something useful for the community. I'm just concerned that paying a "consultant" $35K+ to perform an evaluation is a tad high.

Anonymous said...

Given that the space on the Faulkner Campus has yet to be used for anything (with the exception of Bird Fest) can we agree to not spend any more money on an indoor performing arts center until we utilize the one we have????

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! Can't believe the waste of money on that Faulkner Campus. The only thing I have heard of there is the grand opening ceremony. Maybe the new mayor will finally get some transparency on where all our money is going. Know that Single Tax gives alot, but if they really want to be nice, how about giving the Leasees a break on what we have to pay for rent and admin fees.