For the City Times
Submitted by Stephany Hartman, Executive Director, Central Wisconsin Cultural Center
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The Central Wisconsin Cultural Center has stepped away from an approved offer to lease a space in the Centralia Center from the City of Wisconsin Rapids.
The City of Wisconsin Rapids voted at the last City Council meeting to accept the Cultural Center’s formal request for the space. There had been no other official requests made from other entities at that time. The Cultural Center had hoped that the Centralia Center lease would be the end of an over 12-month search for a an interim location which also included forgoing a property and potential income that would have impeded the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club project.
Upon the City Council passing the measure recommending the lease to the Cultural Center, another possible tenant expressed concern through the media and to the Cultural Center Board of Directors that the temporary arrangement would cause undue hardships. Due to this circumstance, the Cultural Center Board of Directors made contact with Schreiber Properties to review prior conversations about available space.
This week Schreiber Properties offered the Cultural Center lease options and an agreement was reached. Therefore, Cultural Center will not lease space in the Centralia Center but will lease space in the historic Johnson Hills building located on Grand Avenue in downtown Wisconsin Rapids.
The Cultural Center will continue operation during a fundraising campaign to raise money for building costs at the former Ebsen’s Floral property that is being donated to the Cultural Center by Joy Berg. The Central Wisconsin Cultural Center has tried to demonstrate a measure of goodwill and creative flexibility as it moves through the process of change that is occurring in the redevelopment of downtown Wisconsin Rapids.
The support of the artists and volunteers of the Cultural Center, Mead-Witter Foundation, City of Wisconsin Rapids, and Schreiber Properties is much appreciated.