The efforts of local groups to share information and their views on an April 7 Cambridge performing arts center referendum are picking up.
A referendum on the April 7 ballot for Cambridge School District voters seeks to construct and operate a performing arts center at Cambridge High School.
Based on the recommendation of a task force that studied the idea, the Cambridge School Board unanimously voted in January to set a referendum with two questions. One question asks to fund construction of an arts center for $9.9 million. A second seeks to operate the facility for up to $150,000 annually.
Superintendent Bernie Nikolay was to speak about the performing arts center (PAC) at a meeting of the Cambridge PTO on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Nikolay Middle School.
Nikolay was expected on Feb. 12 to share the process for developing the performing arts center concept, possible amenities, costs, facility uses and the district’s current financial picture.
This presentation is the first of several being organized by the school district, Nikolay said. The school district contacted local organizations and municipalities to give presentations.
“I will be out in the community over the next eight weeks to give people and groups accurate information about the upcoming referendum,” Nikolay wrote in an email.
One of those upcoming presentations is to the Cambridge Deerfield Players Theater on Monday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Historic School, 211 South St.
Deanne Herrling, president of the CD Players board, said it’s a way to share details with their board, families and supporters.
“This is just our way to help get information to our folks, as well as giving them an opportunity to ask questions so they can make an informed decision on April 7,” Herrling wrote in an email.
Nikolay said there will also be other performing arts center-related public events at the schools and Amundson Community Center in coming weeks.
Administrators are finalizing the event schedule, Nikolay said.
Kerry Marren, of the Cambridge Music Boosters, said that a handful of community members have formed a committee called Back the PAC. Back the PAC’s goal is to advocate for the arts center, Marren said in an email. It is creating a social media presence and attending gatherings like the PTO meeting, Marren added.
Back the PAC members “know that there are people in the community who are still considering the proposal and are looking for information in order to make an informed decision,” Marren said.
“We are here to help answer questions and make sure the facts about the PAC initiative, along with the benefits we see for our students and the community, are well-understood,” she continued.