Mt. CB Performing Arts Center shifts focus of town plan
Written by Mike Horn   
Wednesday, 04 August 2010
New development plan, design guidelines needed for North Village

The Mt. Crested Butte Performing Arts Center is a one-of-a-kind landmark project for Mt. Crested Butte. For the North Village, it has contributed to a shift in the town and ski area’s focus from “resort residential” development to civic projects like the PAC.

 

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And that change in direction requires some amendments to the Mt. Crested Butte Town Center PUD Architectural and Design Standards and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) guidelines, including rules on building materials, colors, and architectural design.
The DDA has committed $6 million in bonds to the project. According to Mt. Crested Butte town manager Joe Fitzpatrick, the proposed changes to the DDA Design Guidelines are in process and the proposed changes will have to be approved and/or altered, by the DDA board of directors, the Mt. Crested Butte Planning Commission, and the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council.
SlaterPaull Architects is heading up the design for the Performing Arts Center, and the firm is charged with reviewing the Mt. Crested Butte Town Center PUD Architectural and Site Design standards, first established in July 2005. The town also asked SlaterPaull to draft design guidelines that are more applicable to civic/public buildings.
“These [existing] guidelines perform a great job in giving direction to projects that are ‘resort residential’ in nature,” explained senior project architect Len Segel in a memo to the town.
“Because the PAC has such a different function and mission, the DDA guidelines don’t have much relevance in the way they have been crafted.”
Segel continued, “SlaterPaull has been given the charge to envision architecture for the facility that is remarkable, fresh, innovative and grounded in the ‘feel’ of Mt. Crested Butte. Among the design goals is to create a community center that is welcoming and a visual landmark. We have been guided to create an appearance for the building that diverges from the resort ‘look’ in the town since the Performing Arts Center is such a unique type of use.”
Margery Feldberg is president of Mt Crested Butte Performing Arts Center (MCBPAC), the independent not-for-profit established by a joint venture between the town of Mt. Crested Butte and the Crested Butte Music Festival. She explained the community value of the project.
“Performing arts centers are known to provide wide-reaching benefits to the communities they serve,” Feldberg said. ”Such first-class facilities elevate the production levels of local arts organizations by providing professional quality performance space, acoustics and lighting as well as enhanced amenities for audiences to enjoy such productions. Equally, such performing arts centers attract out-of-town visitors diversifying an area’s tourist base with a low-impact use and increasing economic return to lodging, restaurants and retailers. They also stimulate the development of residential, commercial and retail spaces in the surrounding areas. That, in turn, adds vibrancy to communities and produces incremental tax revenues, with which municipalities can make further improvements and provide additional community facilities.
“While the Gunnison Valley/Crested Butte area is fortunate to have various intimate performance spaces, the north end of the region still lacks a major performing arts venue that can serve the current needs of all of the community’s art organizations, nurture their ability to grow in the future, and brand Crested Butte as an arts destination just as it is branded as a ski destination currently.”
Fitzpatrick provided a progress update regarding the design guidelines. “The PUD III application process is moving forward in a positive direction,” he explained. “The Planning Commission has approved the Preliminary PUD III application and the Town Council will be holding a public hearing, and then after the close of the public hearing the Town Council will deliberate on the application and the Planning Commission’s recommendation.”
The Town Council’s public hearing will be held on Tuesday, August 17, 2010, at 6:10 p.m. in the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council Chambers.
Fitzpatrick reports the Mt. Crested Butte Performing Arts Center board of directors continues to meet and will hold another meeting this August, and the board is working on the finalization of the conceptual design of the Performing Arts Center.
“The town is extremely excited about being the home of a state-of-the-art performing arts center that will serve Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte, and the entire Gunnison Valley for many years into the future,” said Fitzpatrick. “Not only will this be a venue for the performing arts; it will also serve the meeting and convention business needs in Mt. Crested Butte on a year-round basis.”