These are just a few of the proposed changes coming to the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center in a near future, since the Friends of the Performing Arts Center's request to fundraise to renovate the lobby and main hallway were approved by the City Commission on Thursday, March 21. The renovation, including exterior improvements on the building, is estimated to cost $594,660, according to a city memo, and the Friends of the PAC are joping that enough money will be raised over the next three to five years to match grants; the volunteer committee would also like the city to make the renovation a future Capital Improvement project using fundraising funds to help apply for other grants.
“The sophistication of both performance and the audience has grown over the number of years, so we want to meet the needs of the growing expectations of both performance and the facility that it’s performed in," said Alan Burton, chair of the Friends of the PAC.
The Performing Arts Center celebrated its 25th-anniversary in 2016, with a special show taking place in early 2017 to mark the milestone. The city purchased the building in 1988 and opened it to the public in 1991. Burton said that after having a building for that amount of time, you analyze it to see if it meets current needs.
With the programs having changed in caliber, as well as the increase usage of the facility by locals and visitors alike, the Friends of the PAC decided to go forward with the renovations process.
“All of this together, we said this is the time," said Lucy Jackman, who is also part of the Friends of the PAC.
According to a city memo, the proposed renovations will include removing the mirrors in the lobby, replacing the existing flooring with a new wood-look tile, raising the handrails on the staircase to become ADA compliant, adding a donor wall, and removing the church pews and replacing them with flat benches.
The preliminary rendering byRLF Architecture, Engineering, and Interiors was shown to the Leisure Services Advisory Board at its meeting on Feb. 13, and all members favored the renovation.
Leisure Services Director Robert Carolin said the renovations are going to revitalize the lobby and bring it up to date.
“It’s really going to give you that more of a professional performing arts feel," he said.
Burton said their intention is to match the venue with the talent that performs at the PAC. A lot of facilities in the cultural arts, locally and nationwide, are at a higher level, he said, citing the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach and the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach.
Burton wants people to be able to take part in the "beauty of what people can do in the arts," and he wants them to do that in a facility that honors the integrity of the audience and the performers, he said. Burton added that the renovation is also a way to pay tribute to the original group of citizens that spearheaded bring a performing arts center to the city.
Since they now have commission approval, the next steps for the Friends of the PAC will be to put together a fundraising campaign, as well as a membership campaign, said Jackman. They also hope to remind the community that this is their building, and that the cultural arts enhance the community, she added.
“This to me is the place to have the cultural arts increase and support Ormond Beach," Jackman said.