West Jordan mayor announces groundbreaking for cultural arts facility

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by Travis Green
October 16, 2017

West Jordan Mayor Kim Rolfe gave an update Wednesday on the status of the planned but as yet unnamed cultural arts facility in a campaign video posted to his official Facebook page. West Jordan Theater Arts has been without a permanent home since the old sugar factory was demolished in 2010, just three days before the scheduled opening of “See How They Run.” Since then, West Jordan Theater Arts, or Sugar Factory Playhouse as they have come to be known, has bounced from venue to venue, making due with whatever facility they could use. Shows have been performed at City Hall, the West Jordan Rodeo Arena, the Midvale Performing Arts Center, and Pioneer Hall, as well as several local schools.Architectural concept rendering looking southeast

Discussions have been held off and on for years about either renovating an existing structure to use as a theater or building an entirely new facility, and according to Mayor Rolfe, progress is being made. “We have the funding available. Last night at Council Meeting, the council approved us to move forward,” he said in the video posted October 11. “We have CRSA and Okland Construction. CRSA has designed a magnificent building, which you see,” he continued as architectural concept designs were displayed, showing the exterior of the proposed building looking north and southeast, as well as an interior angle, “and Okland Construction will be doing all the construction on this new facility.”

Architectural concept rendering looking northThe proposed site for the new building is located on 7800 South at about 1970 West, directly across the street from the old West Jordan library, where Sugar Factory Playhouse currently holds rehearsals and stores props and set pieces. That facility is shared with the West Jordan Youth Theatre, the Mountain West Chorale, and the West Jordan Symphony and Jazz Band. At one time the old West Jordan library was considered as a temporary home for the theater until a permanent venue could be built, and Sugar Factory Playhouse enlisted the help of local community members in August of 2015 to frantically prepare the building in time for their upcoming production of “The 39 Steps,” tearing out cabinets, painting walls, and making repairs to the worn-out building. The paint was still drying on opening night. Within days of that production closing, however, the fire marshal determined that the building could not be used as a theater because it lacks a fire sprinkler system. Once again, Sugar Factory Playhouse was without a home.

Architectural concept rendering of interiorMayor Rolfe’s update comes as welcome news for many West Jordan residents. “As one of the many that volunteer on the theater arts board, this is a long awaited announcement! We are so excited to finally have a home for the arts!” Michelle Groves, who serves as the chairperson of the West Jordan Theater Arts Board, commented on the Facebook video.

“This for me has been 14 years of work to get to this point,” Rolfe stated in the video. “I know there are many on the arts council that have waited longer than that, but during my tenure here at the city, 14 years I’ve worked hard to make this day come forward, and I’m so excited to announce that we’re finally here. We will break ground sometime in December.”

[This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Okland Construction.]

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