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Archive for Saturday, October 7, 2000

Arts Center seeks funds

Request surprises officials

October 7, 2000

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With construction bids for the new building coming in lower than expected, Lawrence Arts Commission officials are upping their request for money for furniture and equipment by $150,000.

The additional money is needed for basics in a building that is much larger than the Arts Center's current home in the Carnegie Library building, said Ann Evans, center executive director.

Evans said the original $100,000 furniture budget was set when architects feared the building costs would outstrip the available money.

The revised request has caught city commissioners by surprise. It will be presented to them at their meeting at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

"I hate to spend money we don't have yet," said Mayor Jim Henry. "They still haven't raised the money."

Evans said the Arts Center has raised more than $2.5 million of the $3 million it is kicking in for the project, but much of that is in pledges through three years.

The city will borrow money on the Arts Center's behalf to make up the difference. In addition, the city commission has planned to pay $4.35 million for the overall project budget of $7.35 million.

Henry said he would be asking some questions about the additional furniture budget on Tuesday.

"It needs to be justified," Henry said. "I do want to get some answers before I just say 'Oh yeah, that's OK.'"

Evans said she had set her sights on getting the building up.

"We had to get that done," she said. "I had always said that is not nearly enough money for furnishings."

Evans said she expected to get furniture and equipment installed over time.

Now she would like to do more up front.

"We're definitely moving most everything we have," she said. "But we're going to have more rooms."

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