Your Century II Citizens Committee Wants You To Get Engaged

Mary Beth Jarvis, Committee Chairwoman

Opinion, first published in the Wichita Eagle Saturday, November 10

For the past 9 months, I ‘ve been privileged to serve alongside eleven dedicated volunteers as part of the Century II Citizens Advisory Committee.

We were gathered because our region is at a crossroads, seemingly ready to overcome barriers that have hampered growth. Just as entities were banding together to launch Project Wichita and set priorities for transforming our community, our Mayor assembled us. He asked us to represent our fellow citizens and work to understand the needs, aspirations and options for performing arts in our city and recommend a path forward. Do you like to try your luck? Go to our website and play pharaohs fortune demo. Increased odds for winning!

So who are we? Committee members ‘ areas of expertise are astoundingly broad – banking, architecture, facilities management, events, the arts, marketing, law and other fields.
To get smarter, we dug deeply into the multiple studies done over the past eight years. We also gathered updated input from Century II tenants and users. Go to our website and get best uk online roulette casinos. Hurry up to go and start winning.

We spent meaningful time sorting through complex and nuanced issues, but the first thing we learned was very straightforward: the situation is more urgent than any of us realized.

The issues with our 50-year-old facility are severe. We have kicked this can down the road such that we ‘re facing substantial structural problems, worker safety risks and functional issues. The best roulette and poker on our site casino 25 euro bonus ohne einzahlung. Go to and get big bonuses!

Walls, staircases and floors are eroding.  The roof leaks and the freight elevator and the HVAC equipment need to be replaced. Asbestos removal will be costly. Today ‘s trucks can ‘t use the loading area, so cargo is unloaded in a public plaza and schlepped through an event hall, making that space unusable. Even more space is rendered useless because the various halls are not soundproof.

Worker safety issues are also urgent. Catwalks must be replaced, and we have functions such as welding going on in unventilated basement hallways. And, we need a fully accessible building, for seniors, those with disabilities … all people.

It ‘s a hard truth to swallow that spending more than $100 million in repair and upgrade projects won ‘t fix it all. Additional issues are driving away attendees, limiting what we can stage and eroding our talent base and education programs.

The limitations of Century II ‘s ceiling, backstage areas, lighting and technology mean we can ‘t host 30-year-old shows like Phantom of the Opera, let alone today ‘s groundbreaking works, such as Hamilton. Wichita deserves to be in the running for these, plus performers and technicians will follow the modern shows and training opportunities we can ‘t offer.

The issues are not obvious to everyone. Many are behind the scenes, and our home-grown arts organizations somehow manage to create world-class productions despite severe constraints. But people want experiences and amenities impossible for us to provide.

For a time, it was smart to delay and patch while we studied the problem. However, continued inaction is strangling our arts organizations and hurting our community ‘s future.

So far, our unanimous conclusion is this: Doing nothing with Century II is not an option. We ‘ve done enough studies and applied all the patches we can. A full-scale solution can ‘t be postponed. We also know that forcing our arts organizations to shut down will damage them irreparably. So, any project must allow performances to continue.

Our committee is weighing the choices – renovate vs. build new, preserve the round building vs. create more gathering space for our community, etc. Ultimately, the different options could end up costing about the same, partly because any remodel would have to be done in phases.

No matter what, this will be a large investment – perhaps $200 – $300 million – in our core/river area. Project Wichita research proved that the issue our community agrees on most right now is that we must make big changes to retain and satisfy future generations.

The committee has this message for our fellow citizens: We heard you loud and clear. You know our community must invest in ourselves and take courageous steps forward. But you want those steps to be smart, well executed and serve everyone.

On your behalf, we ‘ve studied the issues. We will recommend an investment worthy of our exceptional performing arts organizations that benefits all members of this community.

We are engaging with groups around the city to help hone our findings, and we hope citizens get informed and involved. Attend your next District Advisory Board meeting, and we ‘ll be there. Invite one of us to speak to your group, and we ‘ll make it happen.

It will take lots of teamwork to build a vibrant, thriving Wichita for the next 50 years, and we are honored to serve on this team to help achieve that vision.

Have questions, suggestions, or need more information?

Please email us. We are also happy to participate in community or employer sponsored meetings to help educate the community on this issue.

Additional Media:

Committee members:

Mary Beth Jarvis (Chairwoman)

President and CEO, Wichita Festivals

Aaron Bastian

President, Fidelity Bank

Tara Clary

Director of Marketing, High Touch Technologies

Ebony Clemons-Ajibolade

Economic Development, Westar Energy

Karla Fazio

Attorney

Tom Frye

Actor, theatre educator

Brian Heinrichs

Chief Financial Officer, Intrust Bank

Quinn Lake

Musician and music educator

Matt Michaelis

Chairman, President & CEO, Emprise Bank

Dr. Dennis Ross

Physician

Jennifer Rygg

Architect and Principal, Rygg Design

Larry Weber

Vice President, Builders Inc./Garvey Building