Tallahassee, FL -- June 8, 2012--
This morning the FSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its meeting in Sarasota to approve the next phase toward purchasing the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.
Tallahassee, FL -- June 6, 2012--
The Donald L. Tucker Center is run by the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center Authority. But that may soon change. Florida State University is making a push to become the primary owner of the 30-year-old Civic Center. FSU President Doctor Eric Barron is expected to bring up the $7 million dollar proposal at this week's Board of Trustees Meeting 6-8-12. It's a multi-million dollar push that County Commissioner Bill Proctor says will benefit everyone.
"Florida State is stronger, their operating budget is twice that of Tallahassee as well as Leon County. We are at a point now where you win or go home," says Proctor.
The proposal, outlined in the 300-page 'President's Report', calls for both the City of Tallahassee and Leon County to each pay around $250,000 dollars before June 15. The money would go toward paying off a lawsuit the Tallahassee Hotel Authority filed against the Civic Center. Once paid, it would free the City and County from any responsibility to the Civic Center and give FSU control allowing it to make changes or renovations to the building.
"If you purchase it then you can make improvements to it, make money, but if don't purchase it then you don't have the budget. You don't have to be worried about responsibilities to the civic center so if it starts losing money then it really wouldn't hurt FSU," says FSU student Oron Carty.
Under the proposal, the public would continue to have the same access to the Civic Center that's it's enjoyed in the past.
Commissioner Proctor has offered up 10 additional proposals he says he would like to see included with the deal. Those including building a hotel on the Civic Center grounds and making modifications to the building that would allow for it be used as a performing arts center.
The deal is far from complete. If the Board of Trustees, Board of Governors and state legislature all approve the proposal, FSU could gain ownership as early as 2013.
The Civic Center was valued at just under $30 million dollars when it as last appraised in 2010. It costs about $8 million dollars a year to run. And is about $6 million dollars in debt. A debt Florida State would be responsible for, if they take over.
Tallahassee. FL -- March 28, 2012 --
A County Commissioner is speaking out against a move that could allow FSU ownership of the Civic Center.
Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor says he's against anyone buying the Civic Center, not just FSU.
He wants the people of Leon County to control it.
Proctor says, "The public has invested millions of dollars. There is no reason why FSU should inherit or get this building for a dollar, or ten dollars or one hundred dollars on the cheap after citizens in this community have invested so much."
Governor Rick Scott's new budget allows for FSU to gain ownership of the Civic Center. FSU says they want to own the Civic Center, so it can remain afloat and for the community to continue to have access.
STATEMENT FROM FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT ERIC J. BARRON
Florida State University has been silent to this point regarding the future operation of the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center because of a pending lawsuit concerning the facility. The university is not a party to this lawsuit.
Now that the lawsuit has been resolved, here is the university’s position.
The Civic Center is struggling financially and has been for some time. This year, Florida Stateprepaid more than $550,000 to help the facility remain open. We share the community’s concern in wanting the Civic Center to remain open.
· Florida State’s purpose and interest in the Civic Center is to help the facility remain afloat and for the community to continue to have access.
· For ourstudents, the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center affords the opportunity to hold large-scale public events, such as Commencement and Convocation, as well as serving the basketball program.
· Most universities across the country, similar in mission and size to Florida State, have their own facilities to host these types of large-scale events.
· In 2011, Florida State’s Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) project list included a combined academic-arena complex. This project was removed from the university’s plans because we prefer to try to save the Civic Center, which serves as a valuable community asset.
· If Florida State does have the opportunity in the future to acquire the Civic Center, it would bond improvements, renovating the facility, allowing the Civic Center to continue to attract and host the same type of entertainment, concerts and other activities offered to the community for decades.
· Part of the university’s responsibility would be to ensure that a community board continues to serve the best interests of this community facility. There has never been any intent by Florida State to limit community access nor to limit the variety of cultural and athletic events previously offered.
· The facility is losing its shine – and without improvements cannot continue to serve the community well. If Florida State does not step in and take a leadership role in keeping the doors open, both the community and our students will lose a valued resource. We remain committed to maintaining the facility for the good of the community for many years.
· Finally, the proposed strategy is a much wiser use of public money than for the City of Tallahassee or Leon County to spend millions of dollars to update or replace this struggling enterprise.