Longmont City Council to Consider Helping Fund a Performing Arts Center Feasibility Study
If you go
What: Longmont City Council
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Civic Center council chambers, 350 Kimbark St.
Longmont City Council on Tuesday will consider sharing the projected $150,000 cost of studying the feasibility of developing a new cultural center for the performing arts — a facility that also could provide space for conventions, conferences and other large meetings.
The city would contribute $10,000 toward the study’s expense if council approves the idea.
Under a proposed intergovernmental agreement, other partners in funding the study and hiring a consultant to do it would be: the Longmont Performing Arts Initiative, $75,000; Visit Longmont, $50,000; the Longmont Community Foundation, $5,000; the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, $5,000; the Longmont Chamber of Commerce, $2,500, and the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, $2,500.
“The feasibility study will help determine community needs and the ability to support and maintain” such a facility, city staff said in a memo to council.
If the first phase of a study confirms the feasibility of one or more Longmont performing arts, conference and meetings facilities, the next phase would determine the size and scale, the optimum location and the estimated costs to develop and operate such facilities, according to the memo.
Representatives of the Longmont Performing Arts Initiative spoke at city council’s May 2018 retreat and again Friday, at council’s 2019 retreat, about the need for additional performing arts space in Longmont.
Longmont Performing Arts Initiative members include Centennial State Ballet, Longmont Chorale, Longmont Concert Band, Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Longmont Youth Symphony and Longs Peak Chorus.
Local event planners and tourism promoters also have noted the need for convention space in Longmont, “particularly in light of the Plaza Convention Center closure” in October, staff wrote in the memo. The Plaza Convention Center at 1850 Industrial Circle had provided space for local organizations’ events and meetings since 1983.
Pursuing the possibility of a performing arts center is part of a goal in the work plan city council adopted last year, a goal for Longmont to “become a nationally recognized geographic center of science, technology, education, arts and entrepreneurialism,” according to the memo.
Local arts groups, including those represented by the Longmont Performing Arts Initiative, “have documented scheduling conflicts and space constraints caused by a lack of performance space in Longmont,” staff wrote.
The Performing Arts Initiative has notedthat such facilities “generate local economic activity, support jobs and provide local and state tax revenue. A center of this sort could accommodate local, regional and national performing arts productions,” the memo states.
Staff also said that “for many years, event planners and Visit Longmont have felt convention space and amenities that meet the needs of meeting and conference planners have been inadequate.
“With the closure of Longmont’s long-standing conference facility, the Plaza Convention Center, in October 2018, this lack of facilities has been exacerbated, resulting in a substantial loss of convention and meeting space in Longmont.”
Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/jfryartc