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West Jordan Journal

West Jordan performing arts theater plan in the works again

Oct 22, 2019 02:22PM ● By Erin Dixon

The final design will look similar to this but has not been finalized. (photo/Method Studio)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

There’s more discussion about the West Jordan theater.

“We have been to this point before,” said Vic Groves, chair of the Cultural Arts Society of West Jordan. “I’m happy that it is adjacent to the original Sugar Factory site. We are cautiously excited that the project is moving to the next stage. This council appears committed to seeing it through. It doesn’t hurt that it’s an election year. They are talking about breaking ground by spring, which would be great, but there is a general concern about rising construction costs.”

The designer of the new performing arts center, Method Studio, presented its design to the West Jordan City Council in late September. Method Studio is also responsible for the construction of UVU Performing Arts Center, Mid Valley Performing Arts Center and the Draper Amphitheater. 

The new West Jordan theater will no longer be on 9000 South but on or next to where the old sugar factory building stood. The exact layout for the interior and parking, and whether to leave room for future growth, is still being discussed by city officials, employees and contractors. 

After the presentation of the 250-seat auditorium, complete with storage room, lobby space, restrooms, parking lot and grounds, Councilmember Zach Jacob said, “this is more than what I was picturing, so I’m looking forward to the price-tag part.”

Korban Lee, assistant city manager, discussed the financial aspects of the project.

“We have $5 million construction budget,” he said. “We have $6 million in the bank, but that has to cover FFE (fixtures, furniture, equipment), design cost, site development cost. We’re trying very, very hard to stay on a $5 million construction budget. We have a $2 million grant we anticipate retaining as well, so I’m confident we can get this done with this kind of design, but we need to watch every penny we can.”

Groves, also at the September meeting, was impressed by the design. However, he worried the storage space was not sufficient for what the Cultural Arts Society needs, one of the groups that will frequently use the space. 

“Instrument storage is paramount, because they can’t be moved back and forth all the time,” Groves said.

Mayor Jim Riding talked about what the project should entail. 

“We recognize that there are so many other things that we’d like to have in it, we really would,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for years and years and years. We want to start with something and worry about other things at a different time.”

After the meeting, Travis Green, member of the West Jordan Performing Arts Society, was apprehensive of the entire process, though he hasn’t seen the final plan. 

“As far as I know, no one has discussed our lighting, sound and other technical needs with those that are designing the building. Sometimes, it feels like the city council is simply saying, ‘Here's what we're willing to give you. Take it or leave it.’ And I worry that we're going to take it simply out of fear that it's all we'll ever be able to get.”

Final blueprints have not been chosen, and groundbreaking has not yet been set. All plans for the theater are a work in progress.