Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Committee Presents Plans; Money Still an Issue


By John R. Schumann

Prior to the Jan. 10 Corrales Village council meeting, a work-study session
was held to discuss a design concept for the Corrales Arts, Community and
Education Center (ACE).

On May 10, 2022 the Village created an ad hoc committee to explore the possibilities of the Corrales Performing Arts Center. The village-appointed committee, its seven members and three advisors represent a broad crosscut of Corraleños and organizations. This
committee first appeared before the Village Council on Sept. 27, 2022 and
presented its initial findings and recommendations.

The first order of business for the committee was to dissuade the Village Council, staff and others from thinking of the new Corrales Center as just a performing arts
center. That description is far too limiting. After community research and input, the
committee recommended that the center accommodate arts, not just performing
arts, plus community and educational uses.

Following Village Council support at the Sept. 27 meeting, the committee continued its work toward developing a conceptual design for the new center and suggested ways to fund the project. The purpose of the Jan. 10 work-study session was to discuss the conceptual design the committee developed. Assisting with the conceptual design was architect Mark Steinkamp of FacilityBuild.

The center design concept incorporated virtually all the physical attributes
suggested to the Village Council in September. The concept design calls for a
building of 14,834 heated sq. ft. plus a 728-sq. ft. courtyard. It will house multiple classrooms/meeting rooms, gallery space and a caterer’s kitchen. A major component of the center will be a 222-seat theater with all of its attendant necessities such as dressing rooms, a green room/rehearsal space and under-seat storage. The committee plans for the center to become the new home of the Adobe Theater. An Adobe Theater representative is a member of the seven-person, village-appointed committee.

An essential element of all the center uses proposed is flexibility. Each of the classrooms can be used for meeting rooms and gallery space. The theater can be
used for village forums, theater camp, musical performances, movie nights,
lectures and classes.

The committee also recommended that the center be used as a regional center and that all uses be based on equity, diversity and inclusion. The center should be a green center utilizing solar power, and be ADA, CDC and LEED compliant. The exterior and interior of the center should reflect an artistic Southwestern style of architecture while retaining the charm of Corrales.

The committee asked for $125,000 to fund a virtual tour (not model) of the center
and to develop detailed architectural drawings. The virtual tour will be critical
for gaining support for the center. Architectural drawings are necessity to actually begin the project. The Village is seeking funding for this request from the State Legislature. Using State cost estimates, total center cost will be approximately $8.0 million.

Because the Village cannot solicit funds for the center, the committee proposed a
Public-Private Partnership between the Village and a newly formed nonprofit
organization, Friends of the ACE Center. Precedence for this exists in the alliance of the Corrales Historical Society and the Village for raising funds for and operating Old Church. It was proposed that the Friends organization raise funds for the construction and operation of the center. Several board members have strong backgrounds in fundraising and facility management.

The Friends organization is working through a multiyear strategic plan, including
funding mechanisms and funding sources for the new Corrales Arts, Community
and Education Center. Money for this project is the “elephant in the room.” With
the help of ALL involved, the committee is convinced that the center will become
a reality.

Village Council members and staff present in the work-study session complimented the committee’s efforts.

John R. Schumann chairs the Corrales Arts, Community and Education Center Committee.


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