Minot Region Arts Council Secures Future Carnegie Lease | News, Sports, Jobs
The Carnegie building in Minot will be under new management on September 1.
Minot city council voted on Monday to approve a two-year lease for the building to the Minot Region Arts Council.
Rent is based on a percentage of event revenue generated by the facility.
The Carnegie Association currently has a 10-year lease that expires August 31.
According to a memo to council, city staff have heard concerns from the public about the non-responsiveness and inaccessibility of renting the facility for events. The facility also needs to be cleaned and maintained.
“We have a great advantage in this facility. The city itself has invested quite a bit of money in some repair work at the facility over the past few years ”, City manager Harold Stewart said. “There are still repairs to be done. The intention of this agreement was to be in a way a benefit and a plus for the city as well as for the Arts Council of the Minot region. “
Justin Anderson, executive director of MACA, said MACA will host some of its own programming at Carnegie and seek tenants. The hope is that the facility will generate enough revenue to enable improvements to the building that will put it on a par with other event facilities, he said.
Because the Carnegie hasn’t been in the public eye as much as it could be, it’s unclear how many additional uses could be obtained, Anderson said. MACA will review certain aspects of the building’s current operation, including the price list.
Board member Lisa Olson forwarded a question to the community about whether religious organizations would still be able to lease the building under MACA management.
Stewart said the city attorney has yet to be able to answer the question, but understands that as a public building, the Carnegie Center cannot be rented out to a religious organization.
“This has been my experience with legal advice in the past, this is not an appropriate use of a city owned establishment, and you are potentially considering potential litigation if someone were to complain and voice their concerns to this subject”, he said.
Built in 1911 as a library, the Carnegie Center in Minot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It served as a library until 1965. For a time it served as a center for the elderly.
Mayor Shaun Sipma said renting from MACA was a prudent step to help the facility become a more used space.
“There are a lot of opportunities in this building. It’s just underutilized at this point ”, he said.
“It needs a lot of work, not just a deep cleaning, but the floor of the facility is past its lifespan” he added. “If you walk through the building, there’s just a ton of maintenance that hasn’t been done. I know that MACA has its hands full to embark on this path.