Mayor Jim Riding gave an update on the construction status of the cultural arts center in a Mayor’s Message published in the January 2018 issue of the West Jordan Journal. Ground was broken for the as yet unnamed cultural arts center in a public ceremony on November 1, 2017. That ceremony was presided over by Riding’s predecessor, Kim Rolfe.
Since that groundbreaking ceremony, the site has remained silent, with no construction activity or public updates on when construction would begin, prompting some to worry about the future of the project. Now, Mayor Riding is providing some insight into when progress can be expected and why construction hasn’t begun yet.
“As the city’s construction manager, I’ve helped build many projects around the city both large and small,” Mayor Rolfe stated, “and I’ve worked with the previous mayor [Kim Rolfe] and City Council on the planning of the new 20,000 square-foot Cultural Arts Facility. My goal is to build better for less.” By waiting until spring 2018 to begin construction, he explained in his article, the utility work can be done at the same time as the rest of the work, which would save about $70,000. According to Mayor Riding, another benefit of waiting until spring is that the excavation and utilities would be done by the same contractor, thereby avoiding possible warranty and coordination problems. Finally, he reasoned, waiting for spring will avoid any potential weather-related issues that might come up if construction were started during the winter.
Mayor Riding’s points are all certainly valid, and although many on the West Jordan Arts Council and members of the community are anxious to finally see visible progress being made, it’s hard to argue with saving $70,000 and avoiding unnecessary complexities.
Mayor Riding did not specify in his article if this delay would postpone the opening of the cultural arts center, and as of January 3 the mayor’s office had not responded to a request for further information.
After 22 years of waiting, residents of West Jordan and the surrounding communities are being asked to be patient and wait a little longer to see their dream begin to take shape.