Springboro arts center lands money in state budget

State lawmakers included $250,000 for the Springboro Performing Arts Center under construction at Wright Station, Springboro’s central crossroads redevelopment project, in the biennial budget.

The money comes from a reallocation of funds set aside last year in the state’s capital budget for a Warren County Community Services project at Hopkins Commons, a senior living apartment complex in Hamilton Twp., Warren County, officials said.

MORE: State budget OKs tax cuts, education changes

The funding shift was included in the state operating budget through efforts by local lawmakers, State Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, and State Rep. Scott Lipps, officials said.

The Hopkins Commons project, in cooperation with Sinclair Community College, was abandoned by the nonprofit providing social services to needy young and old Warren County residents.

RELATED: United Way CEO to replace Warren County Community Services leader

“When it wasn’t used, we saw the opportunity to reallocate it and use it for the Springboro project, which had been left out of the last capital project,” Wilson said.

The $3.5 million center is expected to open in September and anchor the development on the northwest corner of Ohio 73 and Ohio 741, Central Avenue and Main Street in Springboro.

On Tuesday, following inquiries by this newspaper, the city issued a press release about the funding.


“We are grateful to our representatives in Columbus for securing the funding for the Performing Arts Center,” City Manager Chris Pozzuto said in the release. “The center will not only serve as a community gathering place for arts and entertainment but also as the anchor for future development at Wright Station.”

RELATED: Warped Wing to open 2nd brewery in Springboro redevelopment

In September, Springboro Community Theatre (SCT), Center Stage Dance Studio and the Springboro Chamber of Commerce will move into the center.

The chamber is planning a VIP, invitation-only opening on Sept. 12. A public grand-opening celebration is scheduled on Sept. 14.

Carol Hughes, president and CEO of the chamber, said the move would more than double the chamber’s space from a one-room office on South Main Street.

Hughes said there would be private offices, a reception area, as well as small and large conference rooms and “ample parking.”

MORE: Springboro continues investing in central crossroads redevelopment

The small conference room, with space for up to eight people, would serve as the chamber’s Entrepreneur Center,” and serve as a co-working location for chamber members.

“We’re expecting quite a lot of traffic through that room,” Hughes said Wednesday.

In addition co-working space, members can use the space for staff training, Hughes said.

The larger conference room, with a 40-person capacity, would be used for board meetings and “lunch and learn” events and available for member rentals, Hughes said.

RELATED: British native brings energy to Springboro business group

The large meeting area and restrooms will be available after office hours to members.

“We see this as a membership driver,” she said, adding the new location would also enable the chamber to end use of a storage facility in Franklin and bring all its materials under one roof.

Hughes looked to the chamber, theater and dance groups to operate during different time periods.

“We’ll be passing like shops in the night. It’s a great partnership with those two entities and the city as well,” Hughes said.

Sen. Wilson said the money was allocated in expectation that the center would improve quality of life or economic development.

“I’m very pleased that it happened,” he said.

About the Author