South Bend, Indiana (WNDU)-plans to invest more than $20 million in the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend.
The project will extend beyond the building itself.
So far, officials have discussed building a garage with up to 300 parking spaces and a new multi-storey structure in the parking lot north of Morris, which may include a large reception hall.
“The main entrance is always the front of the building. This is the smile of the city. This is the marquee, our entrance,” explained Aaron Perri, the art director of South Bend Grounds Park and Art. "But imagine again, the space between Morris and LaSalle Hotel, is that an additional entrance? Can there be an attached parking garage? These are some of the things we want to explore with many partners in the city thing."
Morris will turn 100 years old in November 2022.
The purpose is to ensure that the theater can provide good services to the community in the next 100 years.
"Some items in the building are 100 years old. For example, things like concrete floors," Perry said. "Twenty years ago, Morris upgraded other things such as machinery in the last major renovation."
There are also discussions about replacing the fountain and repositioning Jon Hunt Plaza, which itself has become a popular summer concert venue.
It is hoped that the funding method for the Morris project will be the same as the improvement cost of Howard Park, half of which will come from grants, donations and partnerships.
The first step of the process was taken today, and Greg and Mary Downes were appointed by the Civic Center Management Committee as the chairmen of the fundraising committee.
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