Arts of Collin County Bids First Phase

If you’d like to construct a 2,100-seat theater near the intersection of Custer Road and the Sam Rayburn Tollway in Allen, the Arts of Collin County Commission opened bidding on the project today.

It’s just the first phase of a grand performing arts center that Plano, Frisco, and Allen have united to build. Mike Simpson, the former mayor of Frisco and current executive director of the Arts of Collin County, met with  a small group of Collin County leaders and potential arts patrons last night at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano. I was also invited.

The update that Simpson gave was very much what I explained in August. Simpson told me that the ACC commission has a fiscal responsibility to bid out construction  now, while costs are as low as their likely to get. ACC leaders hope the first phase will come in under $80 million.

In their best case scenario then, they’ll bid the project and find they’re $7 million or $8 million away from being able to pay for it. They’ll have a few months once the bids are finalized to secure all the necessary funding before they can award a bid. (They’ve raised less than $10 million in four years of concentrated effort to this point).

Simpson hopes that showing just how close they are to their goal will help to spur further funding. They’d love to see more corporate donations, including selling naming rights (Hello, AT&T Performing Arts Center of Collin County?), but they also welcome any little donations they can get. Simpson highlighted two $1 donations he’d received from Frisco High School students that day, and a $2,000 donation he received from a 90-year-old woman who told him they better get the thing built while she’s still around to enjoy it.

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