Friday, July 24, 2009

Elks renovation contract up for approval

Surprise, surprise: hardly begun, the Elks project is overrunning its budget, and the City is tossing the object of the restoration over the side hoping to save the high-priced contract it failed to negotiate properly.

This is what comes of having people who know nothing about theatre operate one.

The City is trying to do a major renovation of an old but structurally sound specialized building with no money, no significant expertise, and no responsibility for the outcome. Every move it has made in the Elks has been wrong-footed and impeded the next. The socialites who are raising funds for it are good-hearted, but clueless about the actual cost of what they're proposing or how to make it work.

Mark me, this project will ultimately cost over five million clams, and at the end of it we'll have a pretty but essentially function-free white elephant. That will put the Elks in permanent danger of abandonment and demise.

Turning this around before it becomes completely hopeless will involve bringing in our community's theatre professionals and refocusing the project on creating a space that will serve real acts in a real economic context, not the cloud-cuckoo land that the foundationers imagine.

Finally, just to maintain my reputation for shouting at traffic: it is not, never has been and never could be an opera house. Gad, I wish people would stop calling it that, it's nothing but hick chic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You state previously, the editor gives no reason except they said so, yet you do the same thing on this piece. What is your expertise here?