Kathy Ramsberger, OPAC's executive director, calls it "the 100 percent site" -- it's in the heart of downtown, convenient for downtown workers and residents, close to parking garages and can be expected to spur other development.
Several buildings exist on that land, including the city's Fire Station 1, long slated to be relocated, and the round office building, where OPAC's
offices are, across from City Hall.Both buildings would be torn down.
A thornier obstacle is the First United Methodist Church's
Ministries and Education Building, where a multimillion-dollar renovation is under way.Ramsberger
board members have been in delicate discussions with church personnel to try to satisfy both groups.
One alternative would be for OPAC
to include the church's needed 55,000 square feet in a new building on the arts-center campus.
"Our goal since day one was that they would be willing to be part of our campus," Ramsberger
...One question, which Ramsberger, OPAC President Jim Pugh and many others are busy trying to refine, is what exactly their project will be.
The goal, Ramsberger
said, is to hire both firms to do the project's actual designs -- Myers for the buildings and EE&K for the master plan.
Deciding what kinds of entertainment will fill the three halls and the outdoor plaza is fairly far down the road, Ramsberger
hopes the city will keep the Carr and use it for programming that complements OPAC's
Source of funds.