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Brewery Arts Center wants to build 400-seat amphitheater

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

The Brewery Arts Center wants to take over part of South Minnesota Street for a proposed multimillion dollar expansion, including a 400-seat outdoor amphitheater, and it is looking for permission from the city to do it.

Representatives from the center, which hosts concerts and art classes and houses the city’s public access television studios, will ask for approval from the city planning commission Oct. 29 to take over part of the street for the expansion. If approved there, they will go to the board of supervisors for final permission.

The 66-foot-long section of South Minnesota Street between Second and King streets that divides the center’s performance hall ” formerly Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Church ” and the brewery section would be closed to make room for improvements, including the amphitheater and expanded arts facility.

The original brewery building houses classes, studios and a cafe that is soon to open.

John Procaccini, executive director of the center, said he estimates the expansion would cost about $3.5 million and take about three years.

He stressed that the design is only conceptual, however, and that the expansion won’t be possible at all without closing the street.

The city doesn’t have anything like the proposed amphitheater, he said, which could be used not only by the center for concerts, but also by the city parks and recreation department and rented for other activities including weddings and recitals.

Carson City has the Pony Express Pavilion, but that is “not optimum for intimate shows,” he said.

A report to the city from the center also says the expansion won’t hurt neighbors. Traffic of about 750 vehicles a day would be rerouted around neighboring streets, sound from the amphitheater would be mitigated through design and the center would meet a need in line with the city’s master plan.

Craig McEwan of Superior Physical Therapy, a business a few buildings down from the proposed abandoned part of the street, said his business probably wouldn’t be hurt by the center’s plans, but he is going to the planning commission meeting to learn more.

An elementary and middle school are nearby so he knows the center “can’t be too crazy” with its plans, he said.

Lee Ann Brooks of Capital Corporate Services, also a few blocks from the part of the street that would be abandoned, said the expansion would be a great thing for the city and she’s excited to hear more music like she heard from the center’s summer concerts.

“The city needs something like that,” she said.

Valerie Dockery, principal of Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, and Sam Santillo, principal of Carson Middle School, both said the nearby street closure wouldn’t affect traffic at their schools.

Dockery said the center has helped with education and activities and she wrote a letter of support for the expansion.

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.