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New VAA building should be closer to town
Vashon Allied Arts should reconsider the location for the new Center for the Arts. When I go out to a show, I would prefer to park once, enjoy the shops and food in town and then walk leisurely to a performance rather than hop back in the car and drive to a show. No one wants to be concerned about having that extra glass of wine. Locating the new center at Cemetery Road as planned would take away from this “do the town” experience.
On the other hand, a new center for the arts located in town would support both our growing arts community and island businesses, adding to the town’s vibrancy. Performance days would provide a natural boost to business. An arts center in town would be more sustainable and more convenient overall.
Instead, the proposed location’s shortcomings include:
1. People not going out before the show because of the park-your-car-twice issue.
2. Diners feeling rushed to pay the bill, get to their car, drive and park again.
3. Wasting time and fuel by driving to town and then driving to the show.
VAA should negotiate with the Thriftway owners who recently purchased the acreage on 178th Street to lease or purchase some of this land for their new arts center. VAA should sell their property on Cemetery Road. With a location on 178th Street, art patrons could park at the arts center and walk to businesses or park near businesses and walk to the center. The costs associated with the buys and sells of property and the new permits for VAA is peanuts compared with the overall costs, while ensuring that the best location is chosen for the long term.
— Joe Curiel