Study says Rock Hill would support arts center downtown

07/28/2014 8:46 PM

07/29/2014 6:47 AM

Rock Hill could support building a downtown arts center with between 500 and 800 seats, according to a consultant hired by the Arts Council of York County.

Webb Management Services of New York City has completed the first of a three-phase study on a proposed arts center. “They study showed there is an unmet need,” said Matt Dosch, executive vice president of customer operations and external affairs for Comporium.

The likely location for the center would be on Black Street, across from the Fountain Park, Dosch said.

An arts center has been part of Comporium’s Downtown East vision for several years. The first phase of the project is the Fountain Park Place office building, which should be finished by September, and Fountain Park, which is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

In the second phase of the study, the consultant is considering the best business model for a center and examining space needs.

“We are looking at this as the community living room,” Dosch said. “The emphasis will be on multi-purpose uses.”

The third phase would look at finances, Dosch said. No cost or timeline has been developed.

The arts council operates the 150-seat Community Performance Center on Main Street. The arts council has estimated that more than 15,000 people pass through the performance center each year for rehearsals, performances, classes and receptions.

Dosch discussed the study at Friday’s meeting of the Knowledge Park Leadership Group. The group of business leaders is committed to redeveloping the area between Winthrop University and downtown into a high-tech business park.

The leadership group is working with the city, Sora Development of Maryland, and Hensel Phelps, a general contractor based in Colorado, on the redevelopment of the former Rock Hill Printing & Finishing Co. site, commonly called the Bleachery.

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