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Peace Memorial Auditorium
Posted: 21 July 2013 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Larry,
I am not here to convince Wynn or those other fellows of like mind.  I am merely trying to point out their inconsistent policies, and the more they talk, the deeper doo-doo they get into. We have to support the Discovery Center…well, because that was built not on our watch.  We have to throw money at the redevelopment because…well, it is built and was not on our watch.  We have to deny funding for historic buildings because they were not built on our watch…wait a minute…I sense a logic dilemma here. I think I’d better think it out again.
By the way, how did you like my idea of putting Perps and Wrecks in the boy scout cabin?  I thought it to be pure genius.

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Posted: 21 July 2013 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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The Perps & Wrecks have a history many would like to forget.  I believe our City Manager even worked in that Department at one time.  I don’t know that the Boy Scouts would be pleased to have an organization whose goals are to make certain the most elite of the community have a place to smooze, play, and enjoy themselves.  Would seem to me The Fieldhouse project is a shoo-in.  The “shadow government” is behind that project.  The Chamber is already handing money to that private organization to make certain the project moves forward… tax money.  Why don’t we just hold off and put the Perps & Wrecks offices in that facility?? 

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Posted: 21 July 2013 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The downtown Poyntz area is already a national historic district.  The house by MCC was cited to make repairs, which was why the situation came to a head before the commission.  The rest of us get 30 days to make repairs. 

The point about Parks and Rec using Nichols (if true) is not just about the funds being spent.  The point is that the statistics that seem to claim there is no interest in using the stage would change if the Parks and Rec program that might be using Nichols were using the city-owned stage instead.

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Posted: 21 July 2013 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Kathy,
The problem is that the auditorium needs serious refurbishing to make it useful.  That will cost money…big money. HOWEVER, not as much money than has been directed toward the downtown in the last forty years.
It just never stops.  What I find amazing is that the city tosses millions willy-nilly towards all kinds of projects…some good, some bad…but balks at the idea that they might have to spend a few lousy hundred thousands to renovate some older buildings.  The auditorium could be renovated for…my best guess is $150,000.  We don’t need any more basketball courts. There are plenty of those on Yuma, if you really want to go down there and take your chances. But, then again, how many basketball players do we have in Manhattan?  It is my understanding that most are imported from “Prep Schools” AKA “Basketball schools” largely located in the vicinity of slums or Washington,D.C….sorry…that was redundant.
I know we are pissing in the wind here. Three commissioners have already made up their minds, and so, the boy scout cabin and the auditorium are basically history.  As you have learned, the hard way, Manhattan is not much into history if it costs money.
Now, strip malls…that is a different story altogether.

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Posted: 21 July 2013 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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There was a CIP request in the 2010 budget to renovate the auditorium for the amount of $350,000, with the project scheduled for 2016.  Just from a line item dollar amount, I can’t say what the renovations were going to include.

“Perps & Wrecks” —you’re cracking me up.

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Posted: 21 July 2013 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Michael said, “What I find amazing is that the city tosses millions willy-nilly towards all kinds of projects…some good, some bad…but balks at the idea that they might have to spend a few lousy hundred thousands to renovate some older buildings.”


When have you ever seen a remodel/refurbish include a bronze plaque with commissioners names on it??  New… or something as stellar as the Depot… can be pointed to in upcoming campaigns under “Look what I did for you!”  New facilities have plaques that state the year of construction and have the sitting mayor and commissioner names.  Politics plays an important role in what is constructed new and what is refurbished.  Politicians will deny that, but….

IIRC, a good part of the Downtown remodel/refurbishing… the ongoing project that we have seen take many different turns over the past 20+ years… has been mostly funded by what is known as the Downtown Manhattan Fund.  I believe the mall pays significant “rent” to the City of Manhattan and those proceeds go into this special fund.  It has been a split cost between the City at large, the Downtown Manhattan Fund, and businesses within the benefit district.  It would be nice to have an accounting of just how much has been spent on Poyntz over the past 20 to 25 years as “City” projects.  I bet the amount would choke a horse.  We pay to have the experts tell us how pretty it’s going to be.  We pay to have the experts tell us how little it will cost.  We pay to have the work done.  We hear how beautiful it is.  We repeat that exercise every 5 to 10 years.  It’s what happens.  You wouldn’t want the Chamber of Commerce office to be surrounded by plain old concrete sidewalks and curbs dating back a decade or so, would you?  After all, we must have the Chamber offices surrounded by beauty and charm as we entertain the next “guest” who we wine and dine and try to manipulate another few hundred thousand out of eco-devo funds for.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Kathy,
The tendency is to inflate costs for projects unwanted, and underestimate those that are.  I think the major renovation would have to be, initially, air conditioning, and possibly the bathrooms.  I don’t remember.  I have only been in the building a few times.  I always thought it would have been a better choice for MAC than the grocery store, but, I don’t know if that was even considered.  The point is, bringing it up to snuff as an auditorium would still be much cheaper than converting it to posh office space and basketball courts.
“Figures lie and liars figure”.  I think it was Twain who said that.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Michael:
The Parks and Recreation staff needs a new building and we need better efficiency in customer services plus we will reduce staff.  This is not about posh offices.  It is about substandard offices being brought up to a level of decency.  So the auditorium project is a good deal as I have explained in early postings, benefits outweigh detractors.  What is being done is not putting a plaque in a parking lot as you suggested earlier.  I am also not out to bludgeon a little Boy Scout cabin.  What you have is a nice rock building that is empty and has been for years.  It can sit and stay empty or somebody can throw a lot of money at it.  The problem is similar to your comments on the redevelopment.  Tossing money at the cabin may not ever make it a viable property.  Anyone that wants to lease the cabin is welcome to it.  But should the taxpayer invest in the property simply because it exists?  If we could come up with a plan to renovate and put parks and rec into the building it would be great, but it is too small, the cost would be prohibitive and it is in the wrong place.  So again the options for the cabin are limited to use as a trail head (which means no long rang plans to upgrade, maintain or repair), tear it down or lease it to someone that is innovative.  I like the last option the best and the mid option the least.
I agree with the redevelopment comments.  I do not have any ideas on how to make the down town better.  I do however believe that the 1.2 million going to the Chamber contract each year to attract business to the area is not as profitable as it could be, or at least we are not getting that much of a return on the million.  Your idea of getting rid of the retail stores is interesting, but sounds like a replay of previous schemes.  The entertainment district became the hotel district because it did not pan out.  I am not for creating any more major projects.  Would like some more minor projects like a few parking decks in the right place, not garages.  Folks refuse to walk, so maybe more close parking will attract.  Any other building schemes need to be by private development as the government has; as you have implies; not really done a 1st class job.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Wynn,
No one in their right mind is going to walk down Yuma Street after dark.  Fourth Street is not much better.
The only thing that will make the downtown viable is to turn it into an entertainment district….and, that has never been tried…probably the only thing that has not been tried.  Upscale outdoor cafes and bars, and specialty shops.  There are a few of those already down there, but no one goes, because there is nothing else to do.  Harry’s seems to be successful.  Expand on that notion.  People want bars and outdoor cafes.
I am not sure this will work but it might be a good shot. It would be an alternative to the Aggievile drunk fests.
Oh, I’ll give you $200 for the cabin, and promise to clean it up.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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not “as” profitable?  Picking winners with our tax dollars… no, wait… GIVING our tax dollars to a political organization to pick winners is NEVER going to be “profitable”.  It’s a scam for the good ol boys to dip into the public till, skim a cool million plus off the top, and pass it out to the club members.  You know it, Wynn.  I know it.  Why is everyone so shy about SAYING it?

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Posted: 22 July 2013 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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As for the cabin, how tough is it to put a decent roof on it?  Put a metal roof on it, it’ll last forever.  Bet it wouldn’t cost much, and would preserve some town heritage.  Too much to ask, Wynne?

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Posted: 22 July 2013 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Randall,
I believe it is too much to ask.  The city will spend millions on the downtown and more millions to create nice offices for the Parks and Rec people, regardless of the fact that they have been an embarrassment the last few years, but they won’t spend three grand to put a roof on the boy scout cabin.  I did some checking…that is approximately what it would cost.
Now, to make it felon-accessible would be considerably more, so we can’t put parks and rec in there….and , it is too small, according to Wynn.  Probably not enough area to conceal stolen cash.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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The Goodnow Park Cabin Coalition when its 20-year lease agreement with the city was still in effect did put a new roof on the cabin as well as make many other repairs, like installing vandalism-proof shutters, to stabilize it and keep it from deteriorating.

Of the 4 options presented for providing improved office space for Parks and Rec., the option settled upon is the most costly at $2.95 million.  For $1.5 million, the existing offices in City Park could be demolished and new offices built in the same spot.  For $350,000, the auditorium could be renovated (according to a line item in the 2010 budget).  For $1.85 million, Parks and Rec could have new offices and the auditorium could be renovated, and save over $1 million.  But, I guess if one believe the auditorium is wasted space, then it’s better to spend an additional $1 million to get rid of it.

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Posted: 23 July 2013 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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The current option is the best for the taxpayer as it will not result in any new bonds/city debt.  The cost will be covered by parks and recreation and position savings. 

Here is some data on earlier questions:

We pay $3,000 for use of Nichols Theater in June/July.

Below is an email from our P&R staff that coordinates the activities.

Most important note is that the total amount is $3,000.00 not $30,000.00.
Also noteworthy is the fact that it includes the use of the McCain Scene Shop. We do not have any facility of the City that has carpentry and wood working tools that would allow this to happen.
Our rental fee also allows use the use of two studios for practicing so we can break the kids into smaller group and do choreography as well as music (and of course a piano is very helpful in that regard, the City does not own a piano that I know of).
Nichols has a sound system (built-in) that we need to do a musical production, speakers, the ability to mic the kids.
Nichols lighting system is designed for theatrical use and performance, the City Auditorium does not. The lighting on the stage of the cit auditorium is either incandescent space lighting or the one row of cans that have blue and red gells. These cans go straight across the front of the stage and light a large area straight across the stage, this works for a dance recital that has basically 2 straight rows of dancers that don’t move more than where the lights are pointing. I am not sure when the last time those cans have been moved or adjusted, or if that is even a possibility after all these years.
The Manhattan Parks and Recreation Theater program has never taken place in the City Auditorium that I know of. If the renovation does not happen, it would still be inappropriate for the MPRD Theater program take place in the City Auditorium.
I would also take into account the state of the permanent wooden seats that are in the CA, They are not what I would consider safe for children, and some are in such bad shape, I don’t think they are very safe for adults.
Also, the stage is not ADA accessible. Which is why we cannot have our Barrier Free Theater Program there.

Basically, in my opinion, not proceeding with the renovation as proposed, leaves us with a space that is not useful to anyone.  Recreation Supervisor City of Manhattan

List of facilities in the city that can be used for stage productions:
MHS West – Rezac Auditorium
MHS East
Eisenhower Middle School
Anthony Middle School
Manhattan Catholic Schools – middle school
Various elementary school gymnasiums
Manhattan Arts Center
Nichols Theater
McCain Auditorium
Douglass Center Gym
Douglass Center Annex
Norvell Band Shell
Wareham Theater
Purple Mask Theater, but is supposed to be in renovation.
Sunset zoo, Chautauqua
The Episcopal Church
1st Presbyterian Church

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Posted: 23 July 2013 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Interesting that this was not signed by a real person.
How much does a damned piano cost?
This is a bunch more lies.
Tell me this…“How much to refurbish the auditorium to bring it up to your anonymous poster’s standards?
I think this is a big sham. Wynn. I also think that you made this posting up.  If not, I want the name of the person you are supposedly quoting.
To quote Chubby Checker…“How low can you go”?
I guess the answer to that is how you deal with this bunch of thieves.  Obviously, you are in their pocket.  How much do they give you out of the money they steal?  Or, is it the girls? I think that was the problem with the last director.  Of course, what do I know? I am not even an ELIGIBLE voter in Manhattan. I guess, in your mind, that makes me some sort of idiot.

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