This Monday, a court hearing will decide the fate of the Garman Opera House. The Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association wants to restore the building as a regional arts center. While this use is consistent with efforts to revitalize our downtown, the Bellefonte Industrial Development Authority opposes the plan and would like to turn over the historic building to the Progress Development Group. They claim that PDG’s plan to raze buildings for workforce housing is better for Bellefonte and more likely to succeed. And yet:
By contrast, the BHCA is well on its way to meeting fundraising goals to stabilize and preserve the building. And long term, a nonprofit arts center will be a tremendous cultural asset to the community while supporting the local economy by drawing more visitors downtown.