Two WAC Board Members Voted Against AMP Move

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The Walton Arts Center Board voted 17 to 2 to build the Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers Tuesday (May 28).

The WAC has been searching for a permanent location for the AMP since Feb. 2011 when they took it over.

Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce President Steve Clark voted against the move.

He said they’ve been discussing moving the AMP for two years, but the specifics just came out a week ago.

“I was just very frustrated with the process, I was very frustrated, everybody knew it there. I still don't think we got all the answers we needed, I still think there are questions that have to be asked,” said Clark.

The $11 million facility will be located in Rogers off I-540 south of Embassy Suites. The price tag, a concern for Clark.

Although some of the money will come from gifts and contributions there will still be debt that will have a 20-year impact, said Clark.

“But it still represents debt, there would be $4.5 million worth of debt,” added Clark.

Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission Executive Director, Marilyn Heifner,  was here when the Walton Arts Center came to Fayetteville 20 years ago.

“So it`s disappointing that they decided to go farther north but I think there mission has changed over the last couple of years,” said Heifner.

Heifner said there won`t be much of an negative impact to the economy in Fayetteville from the move. The new facility will seat 6,000 concert goers, which is about 4,000 more than its current location at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

“A larger venue will certainly have the ability to book larger concerts, so we are looking at a whole different ball game then what we've been playing in the past,” said Heifner.

Several sites in Fayetteville were considered, WAC officials said the site in Rogers is a prime location and was also donated land.

The land was a gift by Mrs. Johnell Hunt, widow of J.B. Hunt.

Construction on the new facility could begin this summer and may open by June 2014.