Board to vote on demolishing Hutchins Memorial Auditorium

Ponca City Now - February 22, 2016 9:42 am

A major item on Monday night’s agenda for the Ponca City Board of Commissioners is a resolution authorizing demolition of the James S. Hutchins Memorial Auditorium located in War Memorial Park.

The resolution also authorizes City Manager Craig Stephenson to negotiate with the Ponca City Public Schools on an agreement for a concert hall.

The City of Ponca City has owned and operated the James S. Hutchins Memorial Auditorium since it was built during the 1961-1962 fiscal year.

The land that it was built upon belonged to the City of Ponca City and was dedicated in 1927 to “be used only for municipal purposes, which shall include school purposes,” and originated from a separate source than did the money received for the building.

The Hutchins Memorial facility has become functionally obsolete, as it is in need of extensive repairs, and substantial improvements are needed for building code compliance and the provision of handicap accessibility.

City staff reports income from the Hutchins Memorial does not cover even a third of the expenses of current operations and provides nothing for maintenance or repair.

Basic building repairs and renovation needs to maintain the building include the HVAC system, roof, fire sprinklers, side walls, lighting, electrical, restrooms, sound system, seating, curtains, and many other features, all of which exceed the cost of demolition, city staff said.

The staff also cited the fact that In recent years, new event centers have been built both in and near Ponca City.

The commission meets in City Hall at 5:30 p.m.


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