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Arts center foundation plans for the future
City Council expected to vote on bid submission
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Carnegie Arts Center Timeline
• 1916 — The Carnegie Arts Center opens its doors in Turlock
• 2005 — Renovations begin on the arts center
• Nov. 22, 2005 — The center is almost destroyed in an arson fire
• June 2009 — City Council accepts bids for renovation construction
• August 2009 — All bids rejected due to multiple protests
• December 2009 — City Council expected to send project out to bid again
After six months of negotiations with the City of Turlock through the changing will of the City Council and obstacles of a down economy the Carnegie Arts Center Foundation can finally look ahead.
The lease agreement between the city and the foundation, which was approved by the City Council on Oct. 13, was executed this week.
“We’re excited,” said Carnegie Arts Center Foundation President Patty O’Donnell. “We’re planning like crazy and restructuring our mission.
“This is a whole new role for us.”
The Board of Directors for the nonprofit foundation approved the conditions for the lease imposed by the City Council, including a caveat that $600,000 in donations go toward the construction of the Carnegie Arts Center. The foundation had hoped to hold onto the donations so they could establish an endowment that would fund the arts center’s operations. The City Council has previously stated that no city funds would go toward running the center.
“We’re now having to fundraise for new things, like furnishings, that we did not previously anticipate,” O’Donnell said.
The foundation recently received a much-needed boost to their fundraising efforts, as a private donor has arranged to match all gifts given to the Carnegie Arts Center Foundation up to $25,000 through the end of the year.
While the foundation steps up their fundraising and prepares for the day when the regional arts and community center will once again welcome visitors of all ages, the next step in getting the actual rebuilding underway is expected to be before the City Council at their Dec. 8 meeting.
On June 15, the City of Turlock received 15 bids for the estimated $7.7 million reconstruction of the Carnegie, the highest of which came in well below projections at $6.2 million. Applegate Johnston, Inc., of Modesto submitted the low bid of $5.3 million.
In August, the city rejected all bids due to multiple legal protests that City Manager Roy Wasden stated were filed for reasons he was not legally permitted to reveal.
“It’s still going to happen,” Mayor John Lazar said in August. “We just have to make sure we do this right.”
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.