Public hears ideas for Century II
The iconic blue dome has been part of the Wichita skyline for nearly 50 years. It's now at the center of a major decision. Should it be renovated or torn down and rebuilt? The city of Wichita paid $300,000 for a consultant to study the issue. The consultant with the Arup Group presented their findings at the meeting. John D'Angelo, the Director of Arts & Cultural Services for Wichita says this opens up the discussion to the public to decide what's best for the city and the economy.
"Look at what are those costs and how do we get there," said D'Angelo. "and again there are funding limitations."
The proposals come with price tags ranging from $271 million to $491 million. The yearly cost to tax payers for the plans could range from $27 million to $42 million dollars a year.
"There's a lot of people who are passionate about the "blue roof as we call it," said D'Angelo.
One study shows the convention space needs to be updated. One concern is that cities like Overland Park are taking convention dollars from Wichita. Wayne Bryan, the Producing Artistic Director of Music Theatre of Wichita is excited at any changes that could benefit the group.
"I think Kansas often gets a bad rap for being behind the times. It's fun to think of cutting edge technologies and new improvements. We try to do those within the shows every year at Music Theatre and have a facility that is going to be improved in some way whether it's this one or a new one is exciting," said Bryan.