More than a decade ago, the Santa Maria City Council moved forward with a study to assess the city’s capability of taking on the development of a large-scale performing arts center.
That study found that Santa Maria was not yet ready to house such a facility. But as the local population and economy continue to grow, sitting city councilmembers are giving the study another try.
At last Tuesday’s Santa Maria City Council meeting, a unanimous decision was made for the Chamber of Commerce to hire the New York-based group AEA Consulting to carry out the new study.
Santa Maria District 2 Councilmember Mike Cordero says the consultant will assess possible locations for the future performing arts center, as well as gauge whether the city is now equipped to take on this development.
City leaders say the center would also host performances for the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society, which currently holds events at Allan Hancock College’s performing arts center.
They say a new venue for concerts, conventions and other community events would benefit their ongoing goal of making Santa Maria a destination.
“That would sound pretty amazing. Having more theatrical places here would bring a lot more people here,” Santa Maria resident Nancy Herrera told KSBY.
The results of the new feasibility study for a future performing arts center in Santa Maria are expected to be ready by June. Cordero adds that if the city is deemed fit for this development, further details on the location and building plans for the project will be available soon after.
The City of Santa Maria has budgeted just over $94,000 for the study.