The Kimball Art Center next week is scheduled to present its ideas for an expansion to a public body for the first time, a critical step for the organization as it bids for the City Hall approvals that will be needed before work commences.
The Kimball's expansion designs, drafted by a renowned architectural firm, have won praise from supporters of the art center and some Parkites who have followed the discussions about the project. But they have not yet been put before City Hall leaders who will ultimately decide whether the project is allowed to proceed in its current form.
Officials from the Kimball are set to meet with Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council on Thursday. Thomas Eddington, the planning director at City Hall, anticipates spending 50 minutes discussing the project. It is likely the height will be of note during the meeting. The Kimball has not filed the paperwork needed for City Hall to begin its formal review of the proposal.
"Based upon the competition the Kimball Art Center had, it's good practice to bring their results to our policy makers," Eddington said, referring to the Kimball's selection process that led to the hiring of Bjarke Ingels Group to design the expansion.
Bjarke Ingels Group, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and New York City, designed an 80-foot-tall tower made of railroad trestles for the Kimball's land at the intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue. It would be a dramatic addition to one of Park City's highest-profile intersections. The designs were lauded during an earlier open house held at the Kimball.
Eddington said the elected officials on Thursday will also discuss procedural matters. It is not yet clear, he said, what sort of permit the Kimball will request once an application is submitted.
Depending on the type of application, he said, the art center might need to secure an exception to height restrictions to build the expansion to the full 80 feet. The Kimball has said the designs could be modified through the City Hall process.
More information is expected to be released early in the week. Eddington is preparing a report for the elected officials that should be made public by sometime on Tuesday. The report could include a history of the project, zoning rules and an outline of the processes under consideration.
The time of the meeting had not been set by late in the week. The City Council will not be asked to cast a vote of any sort on Thursday, but it could be a tone-setting meeting for the upcoming process.
In a statement, the Kimball's executive director, Robin Marrouche, said the organization has been gathering opinions from Parkites and now wants comments from the elected officials.
"This has been a collaborative community effort from day one. We look forward to Council's input and policy direction as an important next step in our pre-application due diligence process," she said. "It's important to us to hear everyone's voice in the community."