Great Things Are Happening in Ward 3!

Great things are happening in Simpsonville!  And especially in Ward 3.

We have two new Habitat for Humanity builds on Boyd Avenue (thanks to Publix for getting the funds to get these rolling!).  Walls are up on one as of last week.  This will be the new home of the Waldrop family.


This is particularly exciting because they are the first family to be moving into a new home since Habitat kicked off the Veterans Build initiative.  Tony Waldrop served in the Marine Corps during Operation Enduring Freedom.  He and his wife Rachel are raising three great kids, and they’re both in school full time.

The second house on Boyd Avenue will become the home of Nicole Youngblood and her one-year-old son Kingston.  Construction on her home will begin in about a month.


Habitat builds generally take about 3 months, and the paperwork and details after that take another month.  So in mid-to-late summer, we’ll be welcoming two new families to Boyd Avenue. Read about our last build (for the Bouie family, also on Boyd Ave.)  and our future plans with Habitat for Humanity here.

Elsewhere in Ward 3 this summer, we should begin to actually see progress on the Woodside Mills sidewalk project.  This one has been in the works for a while (with a lot of behind-the-scenes action), and we’re finishing up the details with DHEC and the engineer.  If everything stays on track, we’ll see construction start as early as June.

Keep an eye open for all these good things going on in Ward 3 and across Simpsonville over the next several months.

PS: we got the previously discussed street signs up at the corner of Boyd and Morton!


Meeting Recap 1.10.17

Last night, Council met for the January Business Meeting.  Council was presented with 3 items referred by the Planning Commission:

  1. 2nd Reading of Z-2016-02, Rezone Part of Tax Map #0574.02-011.00 (401 Neely Ferry Road). Passed unanimously.
  2. 1st Reading of AXZ-2016-07, Annexation/Rezoning of Tracts of Land on Harrison Bridge Road Tax Map #’s 0566.02-01-010.01, 0566.02-01-010.02 & part of 0566.02-01-010.07. Passed 6-1 (Dissent: Lockaby).

There was a good deal of discussion on this particular item.  In part, this is because Council heard from the public that this item was a matter of concern.  Also, the Planning Commission had voted to deny this proposal at its meeting back in November. At that time, when I was asked about it, I said this.

Between then and now, a lot happened.  The developer really took to heart the issues the public, the Planning Commission, and Council raised. I, for one, was asked what compelling reasons might lead me to vote for this proposal, given it was recommended denial by the Planning Commission.  In short, my 3 areas of concern were traffic, density, and the single-family home involved in the project.  This was my full response. Ultimately, I feel like I was provided with information to support the need for this apartment complex. I feel more comfortable with the traffic issues, and I am certain (having been provided with an apartment inventory report and apartment vacancy report) that we have a need for “high end” units like those proposed in this project for business professionals and those downsizing. Also, the issue with the single-family home was resolved, and that homeowner is now supportive of the project.  I fully believe that with this new information in hand, the Planning Commission would agree.  Therefore, I voted in favor of the 1st Reading.

  1. SP-2017-01, Bessinger Innovative Development, Major Change. Passed unanimously.

Mr. David Holmes presented one other item for business: he asked Council to grant authority for signing official documents to someone in City Hall.  Previously, Council had appointed Ms. Long, City Clerk, to sign for police grants that we knew were heading our way.  Last night, we agreed to have Ms. Long continue signing any official documents until a new City Administrator is hired.

Council then went into Executive Session for the discussion of employment, appointment, compensation, promotion, demotion, discipline, or release of an employee in the Administration Department.

Upon returning to open session, Council voted 6-1 (with Braswell dissenting) to extend an offer of employment to Mr. Eddie Case for the position of City Administrator. Mr. Case has been City Administrator in Fountain Inn for the last 11 years and brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge that will undoubtedly be an asset to the City of Simpsonville moving forward.

This is important because we need a highly qualified and experienced leader who can hit the ground running…and fast. We have several high-priority issues that we need to deal with, including completing the hiring of the new Police Chief, resolving the ongoing issues related to leaf and brush pick-up, completing the new Fire Station, and completing the budget for our next fiscal year.

That’s your recap! Next meeting is a Committee of the Whole meeting on January 24th at 6:30 PM, City Hall.


Tornado Clean-Up Updates

UPDATE (5:48 PM):

Mr. Crawford reports that we will plan to run brush trucks to remove brush and debris generated by the storm. All next week we will primarily be running this brush removal in the areas hardest hit by the storm. We will be running our two trucks as well as the trucks provided to us by our gracious neighboring communities. After next week, any resident that still has brush generated by the storm will be able to call Public Works to request removal of their brush, and our crews will oblige.

Our city staff have been working hard all day to make sure we are able to respond effectively and efficiently to the issues our community faces as a result of the tornado. Our first responders have been working non-stop to ensure our safety. Our neighbors have been working together, helping one another, and supporting each other. Thanks to everyone for their efforts!


UPDATE (2:29 PM):

Fountain Inn (1 truck), Mauldin (1 truck), and the City of Greenville (2 trucks) are providing some brush truck assistance. We are grateful for their help. Again, these brush trucks are presently following our own crews to remove the brush and trees that these crews are cleaning up. We anticipate that there will be a large volume of brush that residents will have for disposal as well, more than what can reasonably be bundled. After the brush trucks have removed the brush debris generated by our own crews, Mr. Crawford and Mr. Dyrhaug will be assessing what our capabilities might be for removing brush cleaned up by residents.

We appreciate your continued patience as we work to clean up our city after what has been confirmed as an EF-1 tornado touchdown. We also appreciate the work of so many of you as you assist in these efforts in a variety of ways. Personally, I am so encouraged by all the residents offering to help one another in this time of need. You are what makes this city great. Thank you.


UPDATE (9:49 AM):

This morning Chief Williams and Mr. Dyrhaug rode the City to survey the damage from yesterday’s storm. Here’s what they report: Some areas got hit hard. There are a lot of trees down including a number of trees that have fallen onto homes. A number of homes also took a direct hit. Some of the hardest hit areas include Poinsettia, the Richardson Street and Cox Street neighborhoods, and Remington (outside the City but inside our Fire District). Brentwood, Morning Mist, some areas along Curtis Street, and a few other areas also took some damage.

Most of the roads are now open although there are a few remaining spots with trees down on the road. This includes Richardson Street and Eastview Circle, among others. The Fire Department is working on clearing these where they are capable. We believe that we have only one traffic signal still not operating yet, at the intersection of Main Street and Garrison Road. However, the timing seems to be off for many of the traffic signals in town. The Police Department is reporting this to SCDOT so that they can fix these issues.

Power has been restored to most neighborhoods although there are still a few pockets without power. Duke continues to work on restoring power. Generators are available for individuals that need power for an emergency medical need.

We have three Fire Department shifts working today to clean up fallen trees. They are also working to shore up some of the hardest hit homes. Lowe’s home improvement is donating lumber and other supplies as needed by our crews. Public Works crews are going behind the Fire crews with our brush grabbers to remove the trees and brush that the Fire crews are cleaning. Right now Mr. Jay Crawford is contacting Fountain Inn and Mauldin to see if they can lend any brush truck assistance.

The Police Department is patrolling the city and reporting any damage and issues that they observe. All issues are being reported to the Fire Department so that they can act as our central coordinating team.


UPDATE (8:08 AM):

Much of the City is still without power. Now that it’s daylight, we’re heading out to check on elderly and disabled neighbors. If you know someone who needs to be checked on but can’t do it yourself, let me know, and I’ll try to get someone over there.

There are still many trees down and some roads that aren’t passable. Mr. Dyrhaug and Chief Williams are out surveying the damage right now and will provide updates. I will share them as I receive them.

I’ve been told Richardson St. is a problem and East Georgia is out at Howard. Some estimates for power restoration are at 4 PM. Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said crews are coming in from Asheville to assist with restoring power in Simpsonville. If you have updates to share, please share. Otherwise, stay safe, tale care of each other, and stay tuned for updates.

Update to Online Code of Ordinances

Ever wish the City’s Code of Ordinances online were more user-friendly? Well, now it is!  I just checked it out last week, and it’s easier to search, view, share, download, and print than ever before.  This is because the City’s Code is now published online through a service known as Municode.  Features of Municode include:

  1. ·         An easy-to-use navigation pane;
  2. ·         Users can share links to specific sections of the Code;
  3. ·         Users can print specific sections of the Code;
  4. ·         Users can download specific sections of the Code into Microsoft Word;
  5. ·         Users can E-mail specific sections of the Code;
  6. ·         Users can see view different archived versions of the Code;
  7. ·         Users can easily search the Code for keywords;
  8. ·         Users can sign up to receive E-mail notifications of when the Code is update;
  9. ·        Users can see recent changes to the Code and pending amendments;
  10. ·         Users can also share, print, download, and E-mail the Code of Ordinances in its entirety.

This process of getting the City’s Code on Municode took an extensive period of time.  But we expect that users will find that their ability to access and navigate the Code will be better than ever.  The Code can be accessed at the following link:

Note: Amendments to the Code approved since the beginning of September have not yet been included in this Code.  This has to do with the extent of time that it has taken for Municode to prepare the document for online publication.  Ms. Phyllis Long, City Clerk, is working with Municode to get the recent amendments to the Code published.  Part of Municode’s service is that they handle the codification of new ordinances for the City.  This will be a great timesaver for staff.

Arts Center Update 11.23.2016

Planning and Zoning Manager, Mr. Jason Knudsen has provided Council with the most recent update on the Arts Center Feasibility Study.

The organizational analysis portion of the feasibility study is now complete.  Read more about the components of the study here.

The team is still working on the building analysis.  Both the City Fire Marshal and Building Inspector have inspected the school building. And the team arranged for a certified inspector to do an initial assessment for mold, asbestos, and lead–and they got him to do it for FREE.  They’ve really done some amazing work over the past few months–at no cost to the city. Next up: cost analysis.

Next meeting is Monday, November 28th at 6:30 PM, City Hall.

Read previous reports about the feasibility study here.

Here’s the report, which will (per decision of the Council) also be posted to the city’s website.



Media Release: Update on Cati Blauvelt Murder Investigation

This morning, the Simpsonville Police Department issued a press release regarding the Cati Blauvelt murder investigation. Two warrants for arrest were issued.  One suspect is in custody; the other is still at large:

If anyone has information on this case, please contact Investigator Keith Morecraft with SPD at 864.962.0289 or 864.608.5348 or

While nothing can bring her back or lessen the pain of her loss, the SPD has been working very hard to do what they can: bring justice for her and her family. Please continue to remember Cati’s family and friends, as well as our SPD family, in your thoughts and prayers.

Meeting Recap: 9.13.16

Last Tuesday, Council met for a Business Meeting at 6:30 PM at City Hall.  Here’s a quick recap:

Citizen Comments: 1 citizen spoke about leaf and yard debris pickup. 1 spoke on One Simpsonville/Labor Day Festival. The owner of ACE Environmental spoke on the new sanitation services.

The following items were brought to Council from the Planning Commission: 

1st Reading of AXZ-2016-04, Portion of Tax Map #0566.01-01-002.07 (next to 700 Fairview Road). Mr. Knudsen reported on behalf of the Planning Commission, who reviewed the request to rezone this property to the B-G, Business – General District at their September 6, 2016, meeting. By a vote of 6-0, the Planning Commission recommends approval of the requested zoning for Ordinance AXZ-2016-04. Mr. Graham made a motion to pass 1st Reading. It was seconded by Mr. Cummings. It passed unanimously.

1st Reading of AXZ-2016-05, Portion of Tax Map #0574.03-01-022.00 (along Barker Road). Mr. Knudsen presented the report on Ivy Walk Subdivision’s request: The Simpsonville Planning Commission reviewed the request to rezone this property to the R-Mid, Residential – Medium Density District at their September 6, 2016, meeting. By a vote of 6-0, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the requested zoning for Ordinance AXZ-2016-05. Mr. Gooch made a motion to pass on 1st reading. Ms. Braswell seconded. Passed unanimously.

1st Reading of AXZ-2016-06, Portion of Tax Map #0574.03-01-011.01 (824 Neely Ferry Road). Mr. Knudsen reported that the Planning Commission reviewed the request to rezone this property to the ID, Innovative Development District at their September 6, 2016, meeting. By a vote of 5-0, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the requested zoning for Ordinance AXZ-2016-06. Ms. Braswell motioned to approve on 1st reading with Mr. Graham seconding the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The following items were brought to Council from the Committee of the Whole:

2nd Reading of Ordinance #2016-06, Adoption of 2015 Edition Building Codes. Mr. Graham made a motion to pass on 2nd reading. Mr. Cummings seconded. As previously explained, these changes are required, so there was no discussion. The motion passed unanimously.

2nd Reading of Ordinance #2016-07, Amendments to the Solid Waste Management Ordinance. The purpose of these revisions is to remove from the ordinance Public Works Policy that does not need to be included in the ordinance.  As an operational procedure of the Department, it should exist separately from the ordinance.  This will make it easier to revise as needed.  Further, it puts the operational policy back in the hands of the Department Head, where it belongs.  No other Department’s policy is included in ordinance or set by Council. I made the motion to pass on 2nd reading. Mr. Cummings seconded that motion. Motion passed on 2nd reading, with Mr. Graham opposed.

1st Reading of Ordinance #2016-08, Amendment to Section 6-81, Definition for Animal Control Officer. Our current ordinance puts responsibility for Animal Control in the Public Works Department. However, our Animal Control Officer is actually a Class 3 Police Officer in the Police Department. This change simply makes our ordinance match our practice. Other discussion regarding other components of our Animal Ordinance are ongoing and will be picked up at the next Committee of the Whole meeting. Mr. Gooch made the motion to pass on 1st reading. I seconded. Motion passed unanimously. 2nd reading will be at the October Business Meeting.

1st Reading of Ordinance #2016-09, General Bond Ordinance (Sewer System Revenue Bond) Until now, the City has approached the sewer rehabilitation project as pay-as-we go. However, it’s become clear that this is not working. Since July, staff has been analyzing the ability of the City to issue a sewer revenue bond to complete the outstanding rehabilitation needed for the City’s sewer system. To date we are considering a bond that will provide for sewer rehabilitation not exceeding $11 million. This is the maximum project size that could reasonably be supported by the current revenue stream. We have also used a 20-year amortization. This is the lowest amortization term that is feasible. Staff has determined that the sewer fund is in a position to support a revenue bond that carries these terms. Mr. Cummings made a motion to pass on 1st reading. I seconded that motion. The motion passed unanimously.

1st Reading of Ordinance #2016-10, 2016 Series Ordinance (Sewer System Revenue Bond) See explanation above. Mr. Cummings motioned to approve in 1st reading. Mr. Gooch seconded that motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The following item was brought to Council by the City Administrator:

Participation in the GLDTC Municipal Match Resurfacing Program

The Greenville Legislative Delegation Transportation Committee (GLDTC) has asked that the City make known its intent to participate in their Municipal Match Resurfacing Program (MMRP) during the summer/fall of 2017. The City has traditionally utilized this program to resurface roads within the City. In the past the GLDTC has typically matched City funds on a “dollar-for-dollar” basis; however, last year the GLDTC approved a reduced total for the County and the municipalities for resurfacing projects. The match approved by the GLDTC for Simpsonville was $107,602.06 for 2016.

In the past, the City has typically participated in this program in the amount of $150,000. In 2016 we contributed $150,000 to resurfacing projects even though it wasn’t fully matched “dollar-for-dollar” by the GLDTC. (Note: We originally indicated to the GLDTC last year that it was our intent to contribute $200,000 toward resurfacing projects if it would be matched dollar-for-dollar.)

The resurfacing needs throughout the City are great. The Public Works maintains a priority list of roads in need of resurfacing and, at present, there are 38 roads on this list (this list entails roads with a pavement condition rating of less than 80).

The amount of funding that the GLDTC will make available for 2017 is not yet known. In the event that it is more than last year, it would probably be wise for the City to take advantage. It is the recommendation of staff that the City apply for $200,000 in “dollar-for-dollar” matching funds. Participation in this program during the summer/fall of 2017 will affect the City’s budget for FY 2017-2018.

The GLDTC has asked for the City’s response in advance of their meeting on September 22, 2016.

Council authorized the City Administrator to engage the GLDTC for the purpose of participating in the Municipal Match Resurfacing Program with the intent to apply for $200,000 in “dollar-for-dollar” matching funds.

Council then went into executive session for discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements with Habitat for Humanity and proposed sale or purchase of property at Woodside Park. No votes were taken. No action was taken, and…

The meeting was adjourned.

Next meeting: Next Tuesday, September 27th at 6:30 PM, City Hall.

See you there!

More Q&A on Public Works

Lots of questions this week as we get closer to September 1st! So here are some questions I’ve been asked and the answers I’ve provided. Some of this information may be beneficial to others in our community, so I thought I’d post them here.

Q1: I haven’t gotten my packet, yet. Where can I get one?

A1: We have a copy available for you online here:

Q2: Today’s my regular trash day. My trash is usually picked up by now, but it hasn’t been. But the new service doesn’t start until September 1st, right? So what’s going on?

A2: New service does not start until September 1. There are two possibilities here: A) Service may be running a bit behind as ACE works with Public Works to become accustomed to our routes and as they try to make sure everything put out prior to the change is picked up. B) Many of us have become accustomed to determining whether or not our trash has been picked up by looking to see if the lid is opened or closed. The inmates the city previously used to dump the roll carts would usually leave the lids hanging open. So we knew they’d been by. However, the new automated trucks automatically close the lids after they’ve dumped your trash. So a closed lid no longer indicates your trash hasn’t been picked up.

Q3: Wait. Do I need a new cart?

A3: It depends on what kind of cart you have. If you have one of these, you’ll need a new cart.


Ace will be delivering replacement carts to those who still use these between now and August 31st. There is no charge for a replacement cart. ACE has a list of those who have still been using the old green carts.

If you have one of these, you’re good to go:


Q4: Will ACE still pick up things like old TVs, sofas, box springs, and mattresses?

A4: The city has never picked up old TVs…or any other electronics.

Penny and I stopped on our walk to remind a neighbor that the City does not pick up used TVs. ACE won’t either.

And this is true with ACE as well. As for the others, ACE will pick up one bulk item from each home per week provided that item is 50 lbs. or less. If you need to dispose of more than that, you can call ACE to schedule a pick up for the next week.

Q5: How exactly do I bundle sticks?

A5: Check out this ehow article:

Q5: Where do I put my cart? In the street?

A5: You will still put your cart on the curb.  The rule to remember is that it cannot be more than 2 ft. from the curb.  If it’s too far away, the truck can’t grab it.  You’ll also want to make sure you have 3 ft. clearance on all other sides of the cart.  Again, the truck can’t grab it if it’s too close to another item, like a mailbox or tree.  This is an example of a placement that worked when ACE came through Westwood yesterday:

No more than 2 ft. from the street but not in the street.

Q6: It says they won’t pick up anything not in the cart. What if I have too much stuff?

A6: If this is a regular occurrence, call and request a second cart.  Also, if you haven’t signed up for recycling, now is the time!  Using the recycling cart has decreased what we put in our garbage cart by more than half!  There is no charge for a recycling cart.

Also, remember that tomorrow (8.25.16), ACE staff will be at the Activity and Senior Center from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM to answer your questions about the upcoming changes. And you can always call them at 864.877.0505.

Read previous posts on Public Works here.

6 Month Check-in

It’s been (a little over) 6 months, so it seems like a good time for a recap.

When I was campaigning, I told you that I wanted Simpsonville to focus on three areas: economic development, community & culture, and One Simpsonville, United.

Let’s look at those more closely:

Economic Development:

As I’ve said before, in a city like Simpsonville, community development IS economic development, and as I said at the June Committee of the Whole Meeting, successful municipal community and economic development begins with elected officials making an organizational commitment to community and economic development. At that time, I made a motion to charge our City Administrator with creating a strategic plan for community and economic development in Simpsonville. The Committee moved that motion to the July 12th business meeting for consideration of Council, and Council approved us moving forward with such a plan. This is great news in light of the recently announced MASC economic development grants.

In support of community and economic development, several business and community leaders presented to Mayor Curtis and the City of Simpsonville a check for $1000.00 to illustrate their commitment to partnering with the City in a One Simpsonville effort to make economic development a priority. The City of Simpsonville will seek to grow the account by pursuing grants and in future budgeting efforts.

Community & Culture:

Museum Signs: In April, I was contacted by the Simpsonville Museum of Revolutionary War History (which is run completely by volunteers). They wanted to know if the city could help them purchase some signage to help let the public know their location and hours. I told them that I didn’t think the city could afford to do that given the great number of critical needs we were currently reviewing in our budget workshops. However, I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring together some citizens, businesses, and our government in a One Simpsonville effort to help increase access to this cultural service through signage. So I reached out to Jason Knudsen, our City Planner, to inquire about what kinds of signs would work for the Museum’s purpose. Then, I reached out to our community to ask for their help. Within just two days, we had collected enough money to purchase appropriate signage. Today, if you drive past the historic Simpsonville Elementary School building, you can see these portable sidewalk signs that indicate the location and operating hours of the museum.

Arts Center Feasibility Study: As of July 8th, the Arts Center Feasibility study is officially underway! Read the most recent progress update here. We first started talking about this back in March. Since then, the motion passed from Committee of the Whole to full Council, where it was approved. Mr. Dyrhaug and Mr. Knudsen have since pulled together the appropriate people to help complete the study, so we can determine once and for all whether or not it’s feasible to house an Arts Center in the historic Simpsonville Elementary School. Further, the group of people working together on that feasibility study include business owners, citizens, city staff, and non-profit representatives—and that’s what One Simpsonville is all about.

 Symphony (free!): We brought the Greenville Symphony Orchestra back to Simpsonville for the Independence Day Celebration at Heritage Park. And we were able to do it with free parking and free admission, increasing access to community and cultural programs and services. We were able to offer it free by embracing the One Simpsonville spirit of collaboration and partnership. The event was made possible by partnering with the following:

  • Greenville County,
  • Greenville Health Systems,
  • Greenville Technical College,
  • Lockheed Martin, and
  • Laurens Electric Cooperative.


One Simpsonville, United:

In addition to all the One Simpsonville examples above, we have a few more efforts that come to mind. What these efforts share is a concerted effort to invite citizens, businesses, and non-profits to participate in the processes and projects of the City. They also share a willingness to be open and responsive to the ideas, suggestions, and desire to help improve the community presented by members of our community.

Fire Safety House/Modern Woodmen of America Partnership: This is such a great example of the true One Simpsonville spirit. In this venture, we have truly united our city—its citizens, its businesses, and its government—working together for continuous improvement. Read more about how here.

 Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County: While the City was not an official partner in the recently completed build on Boyd Ave, several city leaders attended the wall-raising and the dedication ceremony and met with Habitat leaders to discuss how to create an effective, mutually beneficial relationship as we move forward. This is important because the Boyd Ave project did include partnerships with many private citizen volunteers, local businesses, and our local faith community. We need to continue to grow such relationships.

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We’ve strengthened our relationship with our Chamber of Commerce. Chamber leaders will be intimately involved in the formulation of the strategic plan for economic development. Recently, the Chamber’s Leadership Simpsonville group presented to us their planned projects for this year, which include the construction of an ADA-approved Sensory Playground and swings and signage for downtown. These projects will be a huge asset to our community. Council voted unanimously to support the projects. You can help donate to the Sensory Playground here. In another recent partnership, the Chamber and the City of Simpsonville worked together to collect, assemble, and distribute appreciation packages to the employees of the Simpsonville Police Department.

We did all of this while also passing a budget with no tax increase. And we worked with Public Works on a plan to privatize some of our sanitation services to save money and increase the quality of service to our citizens.

It’s been a busy year so far, and I’m not saying it’s been perfect, but I am saying this: we’re making progress. We’re moving in the right direction. And we’re going to continue on this path because that’s what’s best for Simpsonville.

Arts Center Feasibility Study Update

1462888226112On July 8th, a meeting was held at the historic Simpsonville Elementary School to begin the work for the feasibility study for the Arts Center (read previous posts related to the Arts Center here). This feasibility study will be completed under the leadership of Mr. Jason Knudsen.

Community members representing these areas of experience will work on the study: grant writing, historic preservation, performing arts, visual arts, architecture/engineering, Simpsonville Arts Foundation, and the Simpsonville Revolutionary War Museum. Each member will volunteer their time and work together to research and answer the questions within each section of the study.

This feasibility study will determine whether an arts center can be successful in Simpsonville. The purpose is to identify roadblocks that may prevent the successful implementation of an arts center. The study will consist of four main components: market analysis, organizational analysis, building and equipment analysis, and financial analysis.

A. Market Analysis

Market analysis is extremely critical in determining the success of an arts center and should be completed first. If the analysis concludes there isn’t a need or a customer/user base, the project is deemed not feasible and the study concludes. Finding answers to the following questions is vital when conducting the market analysis:

  1. What is the current demand for the proposed services/products?
  2.  What are the target markets/demographics?
  3. What are the common characteristics of the target markets/demographics?
  4. What competition exists in the market, how do they operate and what services do they provide?
  5. Can a market niche be established to enable the arts center to compete effectively with existing competition?
  6. How successful is the competition (user counts, profits, occupancy, etc.)? Is the location of the arts center likely to affect its success?

B. Organizational Analysis

If the market analysis supports and shows a need for an arts center, the next step is to determine how the center should be managed. The legal business structure needs to be identified first in order to best understand personnel needs. The following questions will help form the organizational structure:

  1. What legal organizational structure is right for the arts center?
  2. Is a board of directors or a single program director appropriate?
  3. What qualifications should the board/director have?
  4. What qualifications are needed to manage day to day operations?
  5. What other staffing needs will be required and how might that change over the next 2-3 year?

C. Building and Equipment Analysis

In repurposing an older building, renovations and new equipment will be necessary. A thorough analysis of the existing structure will identify required renovation. Equipment needs can cover a wide range of items from telephones to ceramic furnaces and specialized equipment. The key at this stage is to identify what will be needed and the cost. The following are questions to consider during this analysis:

  • Building: What will require renovation? What is the itemized cost and timeline for renovation? How does the ability to complete renovations affect the start-up timeline?
  • Equipment: What are the equipment needs for the arts center? Where will the equipment be sourced form? When can the equipment be obtained?How does the ability to obtain equipment affect the start-up timeline? What is the cost associated with each item/service?

D. Financial Analysis

Financial analysis is the last step to a feasibility study due to the other components being necessary for an accurate understanding of costs and revenue. If the previous steps are not thorough, the financial analysis will not be adequate. The risk here is that the study may show the arts center to be feasible when in reality it’s not. Financial analysis is broken into the following five categories:

  • Start-Up Costs: These are the costs incurred in starting the arts center. These costs include renovations, equipment, etc.
  • Operating Costs: These are the ongoing costs, such as utilities and wages.
  • Revenue Projections: This is an assessment of estimated monthly revenue fromrent and programing.
  • Sources of Financing: Potential lending, donation, and grant sources should be identified.
  • Profitability Analysis: Using the costs and revenue analysis, this step shows the “bottom line” and if the arts center will bring in enough revenue to cover operating expenses. If it’s determined the center will lose money, changes may be made to the proposed programming to see if the bottom line improves.

Since the meeting, the team has started the market analysis.  Stay tuned for more updates!