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We were celebrating our 19th anniversary when we got the news that the building we had been renting for 17 years was being shut down. We had no sooner heard this news when several “heroes” stepped forward to offer a solution to our problem. The Community Redevelopment Authority had purchased the building at 809 West Second Street when Sitel Telemarketing vacated it. The CRA did this hoping to find a suitable developer for the historic landmark. Community Redevelopment Authority director, Randy Chick, was a long-time supporter of The Listening Room, but it took an act of true faith for him to invite me and my board of directors to put together a proposal to turn this 7,800-square foot neglected building into a pristine performing arts space called The Lark.
We needed financial advisors, architectural designers, a business plan, community planning advisors and grant writers. To make it more interesting, we had one year to put it all on the table. It took true vision from the team to see what this space could become. We found many resources in our community, including Hastings Economic Development Corporation, Hastings Community Foundation, Cicada Dwellings, Small Business Institute, Adams County Convention and Visitors Bureau and South Central Economic Development District were the resources we found in our community.
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