City council members had no issue agreeing to send a letter of support to the Kansas Department of Commerce Tuesday on behalf of Tabor College’s campaign for a proposed center for the arts.
The school has already raised $7 million of $9 million needed to begin construction — which will take approximately two years, according to Tabor President Jules Glanzer. Tabor estimates the building will attract around 20,000 visitors to Hillsboro per year.
“For 50 years our constituents have been wanting this facility,” Glanzer said. “We have no performance venue at all. We have no art gallery. We just needed space to carry out the mission of the school.”
A letter of support from the city council is just one step in the application process, from which Tabor is hoping to receive community service tax credit to advance the process.
Vice President Ron Braun told the council time is of the essence, as the application is due by May 2. In total, Tabor is looking for 20 letters of support from within the community.
“It’s something the community does not have, we think it needs,” Braun said.
The 50,000 square foot building will attach to the existing Wohlgemuth Music Education Center on campus and include:
- An 850-seat performance auditorium.
- A 150-seat studio theater.
- Eight classrooms and studios.
- A contemporary rehearsal room, recording studio, and choir rehearsal studio.
- An art gallery and staging kitchen.
- A set design shop.
- A green room and dressing rooms.
- An additional area for hosting dinners.
“It’ll help a lot in student recruitment, it’ll help a lot in student retention, and it’ll be a gift to the community,” Glanzer said.
Council members debate cars on lawns
Mayor Delores Dalke expressed concern over “cleaning up” the city after receiving complaints that residents were leaving unattended vehicles parked in their front lawns.
“People that came to town used to comment on how clean Hillsboro was,” she said. “I don’t get that as much anymore.”
Members engaged in a conversation spanning the different possibilities and issues a new ordinance could bring.
They agreed there should be more of an effort to remove nuisance vehicles away from the street view, but councilmember Marlene Fast disagreed with drafting a new ordinance.
“I don’t want more people moving out of the city because of another ordinance,” she said.
No action was taken on the subject, but City Administrator Larry Paine said he would develop policy guidelines for review at the next council meeting.