The Woodlands Township to study viability of proposed arts center, natural science museum

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The Woodlands Township board of directors voted Thursday to move forward with Phase 2 of the cultural arts feasibility study to evaluate the viability of two project options: a proposed arts center and natural science museum.

“We’re not building anything yet,” said Jonathan Shelledy, representative with Gensler, the global design firm conducting the study. “What we’re looking at for Phase 2 is studying the facility and site considerations for these buildings. Most importantly, the financial considerations: How does this support itself and what are economic benefits to the community?”

The following items were suggested during Phase 1 of the study as potential components for each facility:

Arts Center

  • Mid-size and small performance and rehearsal spaces
  • Nonprofit gallery, exhibition and teaching spaces
  • Digital media arts spaces and programs
  • Healing arts spaces and programs

Natural Science Museum

  • Exhibit, public, administrative and storage space as a satellite location of the Houston Museum of Natural Science or a similar partner
  • Flexible event space for public and private events

Township Director John McMullan said he hopes the next phase of the study will test the economic viability of the potential assets.

“I think we’ve done a good bit of work to try and surface these two ideas,” he said. “I believe the [township’s economic development] committee feels like these are two potential options and at some level have some appeal, but we don’t know what it costs to build them, we don’t know what it costs to run them, and we don’t have a good sense to what the community use would be. I think that’s the kind of information I hope we’ll discover in this process.”

For more details, see the July 13 edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

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Marie Leonard
Marie came to Community Impact Newspaper in June 2011 after starting her career at a daily newspaper in East Texas. She worked as a reporter and editor for the Cy-Fair edition for nearly 5 years covering Harris County, Cy-Fair ISD, and local development and transportation news. She then moved to The Woodlands edition and covered local politics and development news in the master-planned community before being promoted to managing editor for the South Houston editions in July 2017.
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