Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Better Denver Cultural Bonds: We got our bridge

I recently wrote about the process for using the remaining G and H Better Denver Bond money that had been voter-approved but never issued or used. G and H dealt with maintenance and capitol construction or improvements to cultural facilities and so the bond money must be used in accordance with the original intent.

The Mayor appointed a committee to solicit and evaluate proposals from city cultural facilities for maintenance or capitol construction/improvements. In one posting I had argued for inclusion of an upgrade (at least a covering) of the pedestrian bridge over Champa Street that leads from the Convention Center Garage to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex (DCPA). Not only were there maintenance issues exacerbated by the lack of a roof, it meant people had to brave rain and snow to get from their cars (or the light rail station) to the DCPA. And, as a portal to our crown jewel of a performing arts complex, it was a disgrace; unsightly and inhospitable.

The good news is the bridge is going to be improved and will be inhospitable and a disgrace no more. Kudos, Mayor. And kudos to the the team at Arts and Venues including this project in their proposals and fighting for its selection.

The Mayor has released the projects he has selected to receive the remaining cultural bond funds and it includes $2.5 Million for the Champa street Bridge. The other projects selected are all worthy, though I know that some will be disappointed by projects that did not make the cut.

I am particularly happy that the soon to re-open McNichols Building in Civic Center Park is getting $5.5 Million to assist in finalizing this old building that will be our newest cultural asset. Some remodeling had occurred and the building used temporarily during the Festival of the Americas two years ago. Because some work to bring the building up to code and thus gain a certificate of occupancy remained to be done, the building could not be open or used. That wait is now over. The building opens with a gala opening on October 24th.

For the projects to move forward City Council must amend ordinances related to the two bond questions: G and H.

Here is a list of the projects selected. Question G relates to deferred maintenance for city-owned cultural facilities and the remaining amount is $18,497,001. Question H relates to financing the cost of new construction of city-owned cultural facilities and the remaining amount is $38,629,205.

Boettcher Concert Hall -Improvements $6,700,000 $10,075,000 $16,775,000

Denver Performing Arts Complex -
Champa Street Bridge $2,500,000 $2,500,000

Denver Art Museum -
Ponti Building $3,000,000 $3,000,000

Denver Botanic Gardens -
Café & Restrooms and Science Pyramid $6,619,000 $6,619,000

Denver Center for the Performing Arts -
Deferred Maintenance $9,932,000 $9,932,000

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
and the Denver Zoo - Parking $4,400,000 $4,400,000

Levitt Pavilion Amphitheatre - $2,000,000 $2,000,000

McNichols Building -
Improvements $700,000 $4,800,000 $5,500,000
Red Rocks Amphitheater -
Water Supply and Concession $2,800,000 $2,800,000

Total $17,332,000 $36,194,000 $53,526,000

No comments: