TAC, TLT plan to work together to obtain Harmon Field building

Published 3:10 pm Friday, September 5, 2008

&dquo;We met with TLT and had a very good meeting,&dquo; he said. &dquo;We discussed ideas for an arts center community campus that both groups want to do.&dquo;

TLT recently expressed an interest in leasing or purchasing the community building, which the town previously planned to lease to the YMCA. After the Hendersonville YMCA dropped its plan to open a branch facility at Harmon Field, Tryon began considering other uses for the building.

TLT said it needs a larger space than the 5,700-square-foot building it is currently leasing on South Trade Street and the community building would be an ideal fit.

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But TAC reminded Tryon that it had a verbal agreement with former town manager Jim Fatland that provided a first right of refusal for the building. Pospisil said Tuesday that TAC also reiterated its interest in the building in three letters last year.

In 2006 TAC acquired from the town the building located next to the community building and completed an extensive renovation. Both buildings were part of the former Tryon Middle School that the town acquired from Polk County Schools in 2006.&bsp; TAC officials say they&squo;ve already outgrown their current building at Harmon Field and they planned to eventually acquire the adjacent community building as part of their long-range plans.

Pospisil says TAC is interested in coordinating with TLT and Harmon Field to create a long-term vision for a larger arts complex. With that in mind, Harmon Field supervisors agreed Tuesday to coordinate with TAC regarding plans for an outdoor bandstand for which Harmon Field is currently seeking a grant.

&dquo;I see maybe 15 years from now having the Western North Carolina arts center at Harmon Field,&dquo; said Pospisil. &dquo;If we really go after it right, it could have a big impact. It could be good for economic development. We have to figure out where we are going and then start putting the pieces together.&dquo;

Pospisil said TAC already has asked a contractor, roofer, electrician and appraiser to take a look at the community building. He plans to take information from them to the TAC board, and work with an architect to create a schematic plan.

TAC also is waiting to hear what the town wants to do with the building, he said.

Harmon Field director George Alley said he has asked Tryon Town Council to decide its plans for the building and consider a&bsp; price.

Alley said he hopes either TLT or TAC or both will be interested in the building, and the town can use the proceeds from a sale or lease revenue to proceed with projects at Harmon Field. Alley said the town likely would prefer first to sell the building, and would consider a lease as the next option.