Wed. March 18, the Noon Kiwanis club met at Perkins Restaurant .  Our speaker was City Commissioner Bob Moore, who spoke on the Community Building Project.  Commissioner Moore brought renderings of the new façade on the building and the proposed changes to the inside. 
The plan he showed us had another smaller gym facility where the auditorium exists today.  There would also be a large kitchen area, with alley access, on this side.  The larger current gym would have bleachers.  Currently the Community Building has an annual budget of $60,000 of which a large part is to pay for employees. 
The auditorium which has no air conditioning is used 30 hours per year.  Commissioner Moore said that the Opera House has secured enough signatures to have a vote in April on whether the current sales tax used to finance the Library project should be used to loan the funds to the Opera House in order to finish the Opera House Auditorium.  The Contractor is on site now and having funds to finish it would save mobilization funds and would complete the Opera house for a tourist center piece for the City. 
McPherson would then rival or even surpass Lindsborg as a tourist attraction, strengthening both cities for tourism.  Commissioner Moore emphasized that he was not opposed to the Opera House project, but that this could set a precedent for any non profit organization to apply for a city loan for their projects.  One audience member pointed out that currently the Community Building Committee are not acting as a unified body on how to proceed with the Community Building project. 
Another member pointed out that the City of McPherson has already invested City funds in the Opera House Project when they paid to take down the west wall stone by stone and brick by brick and store and number all of them for later restoration of the West Wall. And to install a stable cinder block wall on the west side.  The City also paid to stabilize the building when the building walls started to fail and paid for traffic control on Main St. by the Opera House before the building was stabilized.  The sales tax for the Library is expected to be paid off toward the end of 2010.