Hilliard Northwest News

Arts center construction

Two years of planning has shovels turning dirt

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Officials were looking forward to breaking ground at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 24, on Center Street for an 8,000-square-foot Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center.

In September 2012, the city of Hilliard and the Hilliard Community Foundation entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding allowing the foundation to lease the city-owned property and construct a performing arts center.

The center at 5425 Center St., adjacent to the Heritage Rail Trail Head, will house the Hilliard Arts Council, Hilliard American Legion Memorial Post 614 and the Hilliard Community Assistance Council.

The estimated cost of construction is $480,000, Hilliard Service Director Butch Seidle said.

The new center will provide the Arts Council with its own venue for staging performances, give the American Legion a new permanent location after it sold its Lattimer Street post, and provide the Community Assistance Council with an expanded area for its food pantry.

Norwich Township donated $225,000 toward the construction cost, Seidle said, augmenting contributions of $30,000 from the American Legion and $40,200 from the Hilliard Community Foundation.

The city will fund the remainder but the Hilliard Community Foundation is continuing fundraising efforts, Seidle said.

The Hilliard Arts Council provided design assistance and will make in-kind contributions toward interior stage lighting, sound boards and other related equipment, Seidle said.

The center's groundbreaking comes three days after a July 21 groundbreaking for Hilliard's Station Park.

The Civic and Cultural Arts Center will be built adjacent to Station Park.

Both are on the south side of Center Street between Main Street and the Trail Head, and both will host a variety of public events designed to attract pedestrian traffic to the Old Hilliard district, city officials said.

Both projects are expected to be completed next summer, officials said.

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