Davis Arts Center to move into old county complex

Nov 21 2012 - 6:30pm

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BOUNTIFUL -- The Davis Arts Center will be moving into the old county courthouse by Jan. 1, 2013 as part of a plan to build a new city hall on Main Street in Bountiful.

The county will rent space on the second floor of the courthouse for the relocation of the arts center for a cost, including utilities, of approximately $25,000 a year, according to Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson. He said the city will look at the possibility of using some Redevelopment Agency funds to help finance the rental space.

An agreement between the county and Bountiful is yet to be finalized, but both sides spoke of the pending arrangement in positive terms.

"We're quite excited. It' a win-win," Commissioner Bret Milburn said of the potential move. Most of the county offices, which were located in the courthouse, have moved into the new county complex south of the courthouse. Along with the arts center, offices for the Utah State Extension offices will remain in the building, but will be moved to the first floor, under the new arrangement, Milburn said. Milburn said the county will likely close the north side entrance to the building and only allow entrance in the side and south sides, once the relocation is complete.

Milburn estimates the rental cost in the courthouse for the arts center at approximately $6 per square foot.

Johnson says the arts center may need to be located in the county complex for up to two-and-a-half years as part of the city hall construction plan.

Relocating the arts center will allow city officials to move forward with plans for a city hall, which hinge on the demolition of the existing arts center on Main Street.

"It worked out so well," Johnson said of the agreement.

Arts Center Director Emma Dugal thinks any short term inconvenience by being forced to move will work out in the long run, when the center is relocated into the existing city hall.

Also impacted will be the Joy Foundation, which currently has a studio in the basement of the existing arts center. Another group impacted by the project is the Bountiful Historical Society, which was scheduled to break a ground for a new regional museum this year, as a wing on the arts center.

In reassessing the project, however, officials felt it unwise to attach a new structure to a building with so many maintenance issues. The regional museum will also be moved into the existing hall building, once it is completed.

Officials have projected breaking ground for the project, as early as January of 2013.

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 hall and approximately $4.8 million coming from capital reserve funds for the new city hall. Officials have stressed the projects will not require a tax increase.

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