“We really need a new facility sooner rather than later," Mayer said. "There’s a lot of complexity to The 203 Project, and we needed something that was more straightforward in terms of the planning and construction."
Bethany Chaney, a member of the Board of Aldermen, said she believes an important reason behind why the ArtsCenter left the project was a strategic decision for their organization. She said the ArtsCenter is having to greatly consider what it will take to relocate to its new space.
She also stressed the need for fundraising.
“The number one thing is that the ArtsCenter is going to need to do some significant fundraising in order to relocate to whatever space they choose," Chaney said. “They need something that can meet their budget but can also meet their long-term needs.”
Mayer said the ArtsCenter will be moving to its new location at some point in the years to come to accommodate the rising number of visitors the center has received since its opening in the 1970s. The building the ArtsCenter currently occupies is an old Piggly Wiggly grocery store, and it simply no longer fulfills the needs of the group, he said.
The ArtsCenter will be able to comment more in the coming months on plans to obtain a new space, Mayer said. He said that the Center will also be able to share more in the future about why this set of plans is better suited for the facility and their timetable.
The Board of Aldermen will continue to meet to discuss the development of the project. It also has done public presentations to share more information with the community.
“We are not necessarily out there looking for another partner," Chaney said. "There will more likely than not still be space built into that building that can accommodate another organization or entity."