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West Jordan Journal

Will the West Jordan performing arts center ever be able to raise the curtain?

May 05, 2020 12:07PM ● By Erin Dixon

This digital rendering is an example of what the arts center may look like, though its future is again in jeopardy. (Courtesy West Jordan City)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

In 2017 was a groundbreaking; the community was excited. 

In 2018 that ground sat vacant; the building was too expensive. 

In 2019 a new plan was made; everyone was skeptical.

In 2020, there is motion toward a new, more cost-effective arts building. 

Will it open in 2021?

Early in March, Chief Administrative Officer Korban Lee and Councilmember Kayleen Whitelock presented the new building outline for construction, a rough timeline and a confirmation that money is ready for construction.

“One of the things we are consistently talking about is that the cost has to stay within budget,” Whitelock said. We hired a construction management team to help us with it, so they’ve been going through and offering some ideas to save money.”

Plans were then slowed when the coronavirus crisis hit Utah. After seeing a dip in sales tax revenue, West Jordan officials may be forced to reconsider their plans for the center. 

City leaders will still collect bids from construction companies. Final budget discussion begins in May, and some West Jordan City Council members are unsure whether to consider the art center when laying off some employees.

“We have an arts center that has $6 million earmarked,” Councilmember Melissa Worthen said, “In my home, we had some trips; we had some purchases. We’re not doing them now. I look at this budget, and I really see that the same way.”

Three million is budgeted from the city for this fiscal year (July 2019 to June 2020); another $3 million is to come in the next fiscal year. $Two million was scheduled to come from a grant from Salt Lake County. 

Lee stated in late April that, “One thing we found out was that Salt Lake County notified us that our TRC grant which is paying for a portion of this project is in jeopardy. There will likely be a delay in receiving the grant from the county.”

May and June will be budget discussion and planning, and a decision will likely be reached soon. Whatever the decision, city leaders will still be prepared for possible building in the future. 

“If we have any disruption, we have a complete set of construction drawings that can be used in the future,” Lee said.