AUBURN – Councilors will tackle the future of the Great Falls Performing Arts Center at their meeting Monday night.

“We need direction,” city manager Glenn Aho said. “We obviously have this building and a study about its uses as well as a couple of different options for it. So we’re asking what councilors want to happen with the building.”

The city has owned the 53,000-square-foot building since taking it over from the School Department in 1997. It’s currently the headquarters for the Community Little Theatre group and houses classrooms for arts groups, musicians and charities.

The city and Community Little Theatre paid for a study last year of potential uses for the center. That study recommended creating an umbrella group to handle renovations going forward.

Councilors took a copy of that report last November, but have not discussed it at a public meeting.

It called for fixing some safety and health issues immediately, dividing up the rentable space more efficiently and increasing the rents for tenants. That would increase revenues for the center, making it self-supporting.

“That’s really the first question we need answered,” Aho said. “We want to know if the councilors are committed to developing that building as an arts center. If the answer is no, we know the rest of the answers.”

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Auburn Hall.

Community Concepts Inc., a social-services provider and developer, proposed developing part of the building for affordable housing in a letter to the city last month. That might be an alternate use for the building.

“If we can decide on a vision for the structure, we can at least start to move forward,” Aho said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.