Plans on hold for Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Center
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There are new details on the future of the
recently voted on Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Center. The city council vote
this week is not a commitment to build the center next to the convention
center, but it is being considered another step closer to making it happen.
Council is spending $200,000 to update the current drawings of the $10 million expansion of
the convention center. The current ones were put together years ago, and now
need to be changed for new building codes. This is to ensure the blueprints
will be ready for construction as soon as council gives the go ahead.
Even with all the preliminary
work in place, it still doesn't mean it's time for construction. Council has
slated the project to happen in the 2015/2016 year budget, but next year there
will have to be another budget vote to keep it on, so it could be pushed back.
Council members may seem to be "dragging their feet" on the project
despite the majority vote in favor of the arts center, but City Spokesperson
Mark Kruea says the referendum you voted on was really only a gauge of
"It was not a, ‘yes you will
build it,'" explained Kruea. "It was a permission to exceed the debt capacity
if you needed to."
Some council members say it's not a question of if the addition to the convention center will happen, but when. Recent events have pushed the performing arts center project
down on council's priority list.
"City council has a lot on its plate right
now," said Kruea. "There are a lot of issues that are coming up over the next
year, there are pressures that city council will need to deal with
The top priority right now seems to be
preventing next year's Memorial Day weekend violence. While council members are
considering how to pay for a solution to handle the holiday weekend next year,
the performing arts center will just have to wait. Council wants to make sure
it will even have enough money leftover to build and operate a center.
If the current timeline works out, then they
will get the project moving next year. The actual construction should take
about 18 months, and the arts center will open in 2017 or 2018.