2,400-seat performing arts center still in Schaumburg's plans
Schaumburg's proposed 2,400-seat performing arts center next to the Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center remains very much a part of the village's to-do list, nearly a decade after construction was hoped to have begun.
Though not envisioned to be built during the next five years, the venue hasn't been forgotten in Schaumburg's long-range capital improvement plan.
"It's still part of the Schaumburg dream," Mayor Al Larson said. "It's one of those things if you don't prepare for, it's never going to happen. It would be a great amenity not only for Schaumburg but the whole region."
The project was intended to open simultaneously with the hotel and convention center at Meacham Road and the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway in 2006, but village finances at the time couldn't sustain everything at once, Larson said.
Schaumburg has sought to be a complete community rather than offering bare-bones services, and such amenities are likely what continue to attract major businesses like Sunstar Americas to come to the village and others like Zurich North America to stay, he added. Larson said restaurants and retail stores also would likely get a boost from such an attraction.
Though an exact time frame for the project hasn't been identified, Schaumburg's newly updated capital plan includes some financial preparations for it. At the end of the current fiscal year next spring, the general fund will be about $12 million above its required minimum reserves. This amount will be transferred to the capital improvement fund, with half of it set aside for the performing arts center.
Village Manager Brian Townsend said the project is being kept in mind to maintain its potential -- and the necessary open space just west of the Renaissance Hotel. But whenever the time does come, a fresh viability study likely will be needed, he said.
What next year's $31.3 million capital plan does include is about $19.9 million in road projects. This includes $7.6 million for the village's share of Roselle and Meacham roads' tollway interchanges expected to be reimbursed later by a planned tax increment financing district covering their area.
Schaumburg remains heavily involved in the removal of parkway ash trees damaged by the emerald ash borer, Townsend said. Another $1.5 million is planned to be spent in fiscal year 2014-15 -- just part of the project which will continue for a few more years before replacement of these trees can be the top priority,
For next year, the village has received grant funding that includes approximately $1.1 million for its own projects and $3.4 million for the implementation of other government agencies' projects within Schaumburg.