Two plots of land, on either side of the entryway into the Lone Tree Arts Center, will be undergoing a transformation.
“We will now have landscape improvement that will be the same standard as the quality of the building,” said Steve Hebert, …
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Two plots of land, on either side of the entryway into the Lone Tree Arts Center, will be undergoing a transformation.“We will now have landscape improvement that will be the same standard as the quality of the building,” said Steve Hebert, Lone Tree’s deputy city manager.What Hebert referred to as the art center’s “front yard,” is approximately one acre split by the driveway into the art center. The area, Hebert said, does not match the aesthetic beauty of the art center, at 10075 Commons St., which opened in 2011.The arts center is a facility with a 500-seat main stage theater with orchestra and balcony seating, an adaptable 225-seat event hall for smaller performances and events, and a 350-seat outdoor terrace theater. The structure was built on a multi-million dollar parcel of land donated by Coventry Development. The venue has hosted award-winning shows.The two parcels of land were originally intended to be sold for use by restaurants or similar businesses. However, the land received little interest from potential investors and has remained largely unused since the opening of the art center.“We thought way back when that these were going to be improvement sites,” Hebert said. “As it turned out, because these two properties didn’t develop, we have endured marginal landscape improvements over the years.”A little more than $250,000 is being spent on the improvements. Hebert said that the property became an opportunity to further enhance the beauty of the building.“We always have known that we have this beautiful and iconic building but have landscape that is sub-standard,” Hebert said.The improvements will include paved walkways with landscaped plants. It will be surrounded on three sides by trees and shrubs, but no trees will line the area near Commons Street in order to give an appearance of unity with the library and Morning Star Senior Living. A small terrace will surround an iconic blue spruce tree that will be decorated during the holidays and used for a community lighting ceremony.Recently, construction was complete on the art center’s entrance, moving the driveway to align with the road leading into the new Morning Star Senior Living facility at 10100 Commons St.The Douglas County Library building, across the street from one of the vacant plots of land, led to further opportunities, Hebert said. The small, grassy park that is part of the library, 1055 Library Way, could connect with the newly landscaped lot at the arts center for future events.“What if we were to sometime close the street for an art festival or a street fair,” Hebert said. “Why don’t we look at the landscaping in the front of our building and make sure it complements what is being built across the street, especially the library.”The library and arts center were both considered when deciding the landscaping for the two parcels.“We really wanted to come up with a landscape design that tied the whole area together,” said Paul Ackerman, production manager for the arts center. “The connection especially between the art center and the library is the unity of two different cultural facilities.”In addition to the landscaping, parking lot improvement construction will occur simultaneously.In 2017, improvements to the parking lot were budgeted at approximately $150,000 each year for the next three years. This year, the money will be used to create 28 new parking spaces. The following years, the money will be used to resurface the parking lot, Hebert said.“It gives us more parking that we need now,” Hebert said. “It just so happened that the landscaping and the new parking came together.”By fall, landscape and expanded parking will be done. The landscape work, being done on just over an acre of land, in addition to the parking lot expansion, is expected to be complete by late fall.“Our patrons’ experience starts the moments they get to the arts center — that’s the beginning of the performance,” Ackerman said.
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