The fate of the old opera house building at the corner of Williams and Forest remains in limbo, according to City Inspector Lee Schneider.
In a report to the Great Bend City Council Monday night, Schneider said he has been in contact with the owners of the collapsing building, David and Barbara Pitcock of Hays. They have indicated they are currently seeking an engineer to determine the best options of repairing the building.
Early in the morning on Dec. 18, a large chunk of the back west corner crashed to the ground. Later in the day, Schneider declared the structure unsafe to occupy, forcing the renters, Euphoria Dance Studio and an apartment tenant, to move.
The fallen bricks and debris also closed the parking lot behind the building, which belongs to the nearby First United Methodist Church.
City Administrator Howard Partington said the contact with the Pitcocks delays, for now, Council action on the matter. Officials were ready to put it on an agenda and decide whether or not to force the issue – either repair or demolition.
The follow-up on the opera house was included in Partington’s bi-weekly departmental update to the council. Other highlights included:
• I Make A Difference party winner from Eisenhower School was honored
• America’s Promise swimming event at Club I Fitness
• Officer Jefferson Davis is participating in the Youth Friend Program at Riley School this semester
• Installed crosswalks signs on Broadway for St. Rose Urgent Care and Dominican Sisters.
• Annual Pretreatment Inspections at Fuller Brush and Hampton Hydraulics/GBI.
• Sanitarian: 60 year-to-date complaints, 60 new complaints ( 10 by citizens and 50 by staff), 11 complaints completed by citizens, two abatement notices sent and five cars brought into compliance.
• The Miss Barton County and Miss Golden Belt pageant was Saturday, Jan. 11. Eight young women competed and 16 girls ages 5-12 participated in the Princess portion of the pageant. There were over 200 attendees to the pageant and Bonny Boultinghouse from Great Bend was named Miss Barton County while Michelle Page from Manhattan was named Miss Golden Belt. Both girls will be making public appearances in Great Bend and raising funds to attend the Miss Kansas Pageant in June.
• The Great Bend Bridal Affaire took place on Jan. 19 and over 100 brides to be came to view the vendors, fashion show, taste the food and plan their weddings.
• The Retail Roundtable group had a meeting at the beginning of the month and set the full 2014 Retail Schedule of events. Retailers and Businesses are encouraged to become part of Christina’s email group list so they can be part of the unification of stores in promotion of sales and events in Great Bend.
• The Icy Sidewalk Sale took place on Jan. 18. A mix of reports came back from the stores in regards to the sale. Some had no sales or new people in the door at all and some reported a so-so day. Then for a few it was successful. A suggestion was to look at making the Icy Sidewalk Sale a week later next year.