Walton Arts Center President and CEO Peter Lane assured those attending a recent WAC board meeting that the center will remain in its current location, although it will expand to an undetermined location. In addition to the existing 1,200-seat theater and two 200-seat halls, there are plans to build two new facilities. Proposed are a 2,100-seat hall and a 600-seat multi-use venue. Public input is welcome at waltonartscenter.org. The board hopes to choose a site by this summer and begin construction as early as spring 2012.
The city council passed three measures to study parking issues in the Dickson Street area. First, the city will negotiate leases with owners of private lots, such as University Baptist Church, so that parking enforcement will be through ticketing as opposed to towing. Second, the four large, free public parking lots in the area will be converted to paid parking. The revenue generated would help staff monitoring, which presumably would help build a parking deck at the municipal parking lot on the southwest corner of Dickson Street and West Avenue. The third motion would investigate the use of residential parking permits.
Northwest Arkansas is ideal for a light rail system, according to a study by the University of Arkansas Center for Community Development. Factors are favorable for installing a light rail from Drake Field in south Fayetteville to Bentonville and XNA. This conversation has been going on for more than two years, but this recent study advocates a push for a feasibility study.
High Dollar Deck
The Washington County Quorum Court voted to pay a price per unit cost for the piers required by the contractor to continue building of the parking deck. Estimates for the additional work needed to compensate for depth and safety of the structure are $1.5 million to $2.5 million. The contractor also offered a flat rate of $2.85 million, but the court decided to pay per unit in hopes of being under that estimate.
Law School Wins
Congratulations to third-year law students, Ashley Driver, Taylor Mattson and Allison Waldrip for bringing home the Moot to the UA. Waldrip was awarded the Best Individual Oral Argument Award and the trio ranked top out of 28 teams from 14 regions across the country. The competition was Feb. 1-5 at the Association of the Bar at New York City.