Newsmakers: North Hennepin’s Rolando Garcia explains abandonment of new arts center

1:34 p.m. | Sunday, November 13, 2022

North Hennepin Community College President Dr. Rolando Garcia and Brooklyn Park City Manager Jay Stroebel announced in late October that the collaboration for a performing arts center called the Center for Innovation and arts would come to an end. The announcement came in a letter dated October 27.

“Looking at the enrollment data and looking at the financial situation of the college, we would have some issues trying to fund it from the college side,” Garcia explained. “Once we’ve done a feasibility study, even trying to raise funds would be a challenge in that environment.”

Garcia says there is disappointment around the decision, but also pragmatism.

“Between these two pieces together, I thought the best decision for the college moving forward would be to look for another way to achieve the same thing, which is to bring the arts to the community,” said Garcia said.

Renderings of the Center for Innovation and the Arts, which would have been a performing arts center for the northwestern suburbs.

Garcia says the college plans to revamp the fine arts facility, which is the oldest building on campus.

“He definitely needs love, so that’s what we intend to do, invest in the building and show that building some love,” Garcia said. “We will make sure we have a facility that will serve the community well.

North Hennepin will also collaborate with the City of Brooklyn Park for arts programming.

The land the college owns for the project near the Brooklyn Park Library will one day be sold and reinvested. There is a project underway for a second lot nearby which will be used for apartments and a day care centre. See this story here.

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