(Video) Community Comes Out in Full Force to Support Arts Center

The Southington Police Department community room was filled Wednesday with residents interested in seeing the town turn the Gura Building into a Community Arts Center.

The fate of the will be decided as early as Friday morning and a last public input session Wednesday evening led more than 70 people to turn out with the overwhelming majority in favor of having the building leased to the Southington Community Cultural Arts Association to have the building transformed into an arts center.

The meeting, held at the , was the last of several hosted by the Gura Building Use Committee as they made their decision on whether to demolish the building, sell it to a private developer or lease it to a non-profit organization.

"I felt that the meeting tonight was an important part of the process, for government transparency," said Stephanie Urillo, member of the committee. "It's an important town property on the corner of Berlin Avenue and Main Street and we need to make sure the public has had ample opportunity to weigh in."

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Urillo, who requested the public input session, has not made her opinion on how to best address the building public.

Nearly 20 people spoke, with only two expressing concerns over having the building used as an arts center. Both Pamela DePaolo and Jennie Urillo expressed concerns over the location, but said the support an arts center being developed in the downtown Southington area.

For complete reactions and public comment, be sure to watch the video above.

Look back at and be sure to get involved by voting in .

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Arthur Cyr June 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Should there be a Arts Building somewhere downtown? Sure. Does it have to be at the Gura Building? NO. Does the Southington Community Cultural Arts Association have a solid plan for raising the $1.2 million to renovate the building? NO (Facts, not fantasy estimates.) Does the Southington Community Cultural Arts Association have a viable plan for funding the proposed yearly budget of over $100,000? NO Should the rest of the Southington taxpayers have to search for a parking place when going to Town Hall because the proposed Arts center would take over the TOWN HALL parking lot behind the Gura Building? NO And BEWARE the "business professionals" with their bogus agendas to sell the Gura Building to their friends.They have been WRONG about the viability of the new BOE/Town facility at North Center, they have been WRONG in their initial proposals for West Street corridor and they are WRONG about keeping the Gura Building. Demolish the Gura Building!
Ana F June 14, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I so agree. Have an Arts Center, just NOT in the Gura Building. There must be a more appropriate site, why is this one being forced down our throats?


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