SkyPac Meeting Called

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

The SkyPac board calls an impromptu meeting to discuss what to do with several abandoned houses in downtown Bowling Green.

The demolition of these homes could be the first big move for the performing arts center.

Mayor Elaine Walker asked for the special meeting, after City Commissioner Brian Strow filed a municipal order Wednesday, calling for the demolition of ten homes originally purchased on SkyPac's behalf.

The homes are located on Center street, between Sixth and Seventh streets.

Walker said she did not want to see those homes, many dating back to the beginning of downtown's history, destroyed and was hoping the SkyPac board would come to an agreement that would allow the city to retain the houses without compromising SkyPac.

Mayor Walker suggested the houses could be used for businesses, receive local historic designation, or housing entertainers, while they were in town to perform at SkyPac.

My hope was that we could see a way to preserve the neighborhood, to create the performing arts center and create a win-win situation for everyone.

The move would have eliminated 80 of the 200 parking spaces, but Mayor Walker says the city would work to get additional parking back, through off-site lots and a parking structure.

Several SkyPac board members said they were hesitant to make the move, because of the loss of some of these parking spaces, and the same day decision-making the Mayor was asking the board to do.

The SkyPac board members in attendance voted 4-to-3 against the proposal.

The board says their general sentiment is that while it was worthy of consideration, it left too many unanswered questions that needed more time than the board was given to thoughtfully support the item.

The first reading for the demolition of the homes will be at the next city commission meeting.

To view a map of possible future parking click here.

To learn more about the history of the 600 block of Center Street click here.

And to view a document listing possible rehab scenarios for the 600 block of Center Street click here.


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