Study session on future of arts center, parking set for Monday

The Gilroy Interim Center for the Arts is located at 7341 Monterey St.

The Gilroy City Council will host a special study session Monday night at City Hall to talk options for a potentially new location for the city-owned Interim Center for the Arts on Monterey Street and plan for the addition of more parking downtown.
City staff will give background on the history of the arts center and outline five potential plans for its future—from renovating the current space at 7341 Monterey St. to relocating the arts center elsewhere, according to the agenda for the Aug. 24 study session.
Discussions about the facility’s future have been taking place for nearly two decades, following a city-commissioned study in 1998. By the time the study was completed, the recommendation made was to renovate the Strand Theater building at 7588 Monterey St. at a cost of more than $3.6 million.
But the council did not support that plan then, which would have also required the purchase of the building for nearly $1 million alone. All other potential sites examined between 1998 and 2000 were rejected, according to city staff.
A 2008 business plan estimated the total cost for construction of a brand new arts center would be between $19 million and $23.4 million, city documents show.
City staff anticipate it would cost more than $1.5 million in today’s dollars to upgrade the interim facility’s inner workings to allow for greater occupancy and ensure it meets current fire safety and Americans with Disability Act provisions. Another option is to relocate the arts center to the Wheeler Community Center, according to city staff.
The council will also discuss a preliminary proposal to build a parking lot along the 7400 block of Railroad St. and debate how often enforcement of the city’s parking laws should take place.
Monday’s study session is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. in council chambers of Gilroy City Hall, located at 7351 Rosanna St. It is open to the public.
The discussion Monday night will not result in a final decision, however. As a study session, the council may only provide direction to city staff by way of asking for additional review or requesting a report at a future meeting.
Any proposed action at the Aug. 24 session must be placed on a future agenda during the council’s regularly scheduled meetings.
Read more about the talking points in the city council’s packet of materials, accessible here.