Study for science museum, arts center continues in The Woodlands

Arts study continues in The WoodlandsAs part of a feasibility study for a cultural arts complex in The Woodlands, consultants have made a case for the viability of a museum and arts center in the area.

During its Aug. 17 meeting, The Woodlands Township board of directors heard a presentation for a cultural arts center that would include a proposed performing arts center and a museum. According to project development firm Webb Management Services Inc., the center would include two facilities that could be combined or operated separately. An exact cost for the facilities has not been announced.

As proposed, the complex could be funded through grants, donations, earned income and funds from the township’s capital reserve budget.

According to Webb Management President Duncan Webb, the proposed museum is similar to the Houston Museum of Natural Science location in Sugar Land, which opened in 2009.

“[HMNS sees] that this is an important market for them to reach,” Webb said. “They see this as a satellite facility out here that ultimately helps the larger institution.”

For the arts center, Webb proposed partnering with local colleges to help with fundraising and operations.

“Colleges are experienced facility developers,” Webb said. “They know how to run buildings, they know how to build buildings, they bring significant ... use to those facilities that improve their viability.”

Township Chairman Gordy Bunch said the center could also become a new source of sales tax revenue, something the township will need as it approaches residential build-out, which could slow property tax revenue.

“We know there’s going to have to be some new things that need to occur within the community to move the needle on our long-term sales tax revenue and attractiveness within the community,” Bunch said.

Proposed locations for both buildings have not yet been announced, but the presentation indicated the buildings could require 4-8 acres of land each.

By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.