Thursday, February 14 – Performing Arts Center Pitched For OC

OCEAN CITY – A performing arts center in Ocean City could become a reality sooner rather than later, with city officials aiming to include the proposed performing arts center in the upcoming Convention Center expansion.

“I think the public would be much more receptive to the expansion of the Convention Center if they had something like this to look forward to,” said Council President Joe Mitrecic at a Tourism Commission meeting last week.

The proposal for a performing arts center on a parcel of land in an area of the Convention Center parking lot was brought forth by local Realtor and Planning Commission member Peck Miller last week, as he presented his renderings of what he hopes will be an “iconic” building for Ocean City.

“For the last couple of years, I’ve been working to bring some performing arts centers to the area,” Miller said.

Miller envisions the addition of three performing arts centers in the area, one in Berlin, one in Ocean City and one outside of Ocean City. For Ocean City, Miller hopes to bring a missing element to the convention center with the addition of a performing arts center.

The building would be what Miller described as an “iconic type building” that would be in the shape of a wave and identifiable for Ocean City.

“I’m not saying Ocean City is in need of an icon, but this could do that,” Miller said.

The performing arts center would seat 1,500 to 1,800 people and would include a five-story parking garage that would add some 400 spaces to the convention center parking lot. The building would also include a public transportation system that could shuttle visitors throughout town.

The town is currently in the research stages of the Convention Center expansion, awaiting results from their preliminary stages of the convention center expansion study. Pillas reported that those results should be coming back within weeks, at which point the town will begin discussions on feasibility of the expansion and the possibility of the addition of the performing arts center.

For the complete story, see tomorrow morning’s issue of The Dispatch and its online partner.