Community members are now meeting to discuss the possibility of a Cambridge performing arts center.

The district voted to create a task force in April, which will study building a performing arts center. The task force met for the first time on Aug. 21.

A press release from the Cambridge School District said the task force started looking at the needs of the local schools, and how a performing arts center might fit those needs.

“Task Force members were extremely thoughtful as they began their discussions,” Superintendent Bernie Nikolay said in the statement. “We’re excited to continue our work with this group.”

Representatives from Eppstein Uhen Architects, the district’s Milwaukee-based consultant on the project, assessed the building uses, schedules and thoughts of district staff, the release said.

Some of the biggest findings discussed by the task force include that 87 percent of Cambridge students are taking at least one performing arts class; audiences for performances can reach up to 600 people; and performances interrupted use of the high school gym at least 25 times during the 2018-19 school year.

Goals of the task force are to determine the location, seating capacity and design of the building; lighting and sound requirements; the estimated cost of construction and operations; and fundraising.

In past conversations, the district has eyed an April 2020 referendum date, with meetings every month and a presentation to the school board in December.

The group, which was organized by the school board, is made up of local leaders, arts enthusiasts, and three to five community at-large members. It’s chaired by Cambridge residents Peg Sullivan and Eddie Pahuski.

The task force meets again Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Cambridge High School, 403 Blue Jay Way. These meetings are open to the public.

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