BOUNTIFUL — City officials are negotiating with the county to find a short-term home for the Davis Arts Center.
City Attorney Rusty Mahan said he met recently with Commissioner Bret Millburn in an effort to negotiate a temporary home for the arts center, which is being forced out of its current Main Street building by project plans for a new city hall and a renovation of the municipal building.
Millburn confirmed the talks have been started and are expected to continue.
He said the county will have space in the old courthouse, with a projected move by some county officials into a new building as early as September.
City officials have projected the arts center may need a new home as early as Jan. 1.
Millburn said officials looked at the existing courthouse space to work out possible details of a move.
Arts Center Director Emma Dugal thinks any short-term inconvenience of being forced to move will work out in the long run, when the center is relocated into the existing city hall.
“Long term, it’s a good thing. In the long run, it will be good for the city. It didn’t make sense to put money into an old building. This will be better,” Dugal said of relocation plans.
Also affected will be the Joy Foundation, which has a studio in the basement of the current arts center.
City officials moved to hire an architect for the new city hall and renovation of the existing city hall. A key phase of that project will involve razing the existing arts center on Main Street as a prelude to building the new city hall.
Another group affected by the project is the Bountiful Historical Society, which was scheduled to break ground for a new regional museum this year as a wing of the arts center.
In reassessing the project, however, officials felt it would be unwise to attach a new structure to a building with so many maintenance issues. The regional museum will also be moved into the existing city hall once it is renovated.
Officials have projected breaking ground for the project as early as January.
The construction package for all the projects has been estimated at $7.2 million, with $2.4 million of RDA funds targeted for renovation of the existing city hall and approximately $4.8 million coming from capital reserve funds for the new city hall.
Officials have stressed that the projects will not require a tax increase.