311 W. Main Arts Consultant Vote Tonight

Lansdale Borough Council will vote to authorize a $35,000, 48-day contract with the former executive director of the Abington Arts Center for professional consulting services for 311 W. Main Street.

Lansdale Borough could have an arts consultant on board tonight, whom will aid in the development, creation, operation and management of 311 W. Main Street — all in a span of six months.

Council is poised to vote at a special meeting at 9 p.m. to enter into a 48-day, $35,000 contract, not to exceed six months of work, with Laura E. Burnham, of Elkins Park, the former executive director of the Abington Arts Center for 25 years.

According to the motion, Burnham would provide professional consulting services "related to the development, creation, operation and management of a community arts and cultural center."

Per the contract, the not-to-exceed price for the project is $34,560, plus a maximum of $500 in expenses. 

The borough will pay Burnham for 48 days of work at $90 an hour, with the center being open in six months from the start date, according to the contract document. Under the contract, Burnham can only bill the borough for 48 days of work at an agreed upon rate not to exceed $35,060.

If authorized in a majority vote, Burnham would be responsible for:

  • Working with the architect to finalize uses and design of the site
  • Advising Lansdale staff and the project team regarding needs and functions of artistic spaces
  • Gathering feedback and input from art professionals, potential users and designers
  • Conducting and participating in meetings to draft a presentation to stakeholders and the public
  • Integrating stakeholder and public suggestions into final project to help gain community buy-in for the final design

Burnham would also be tasked to oversee financial planning of 311 W. Main St.:

  • Reviewing and testing assumptions in the 311 W. Main Business Plan submitted by AMS Planning and Research
  • Identifying and contacting regional arts and commercial partners that can complement Main Street, the Madison Lot Redevelopment and the downtown revitalization
  • Presenting scenarios to council that would gain opportunitie to attract day and night use of 311 W. Main St.
  • Creating a capital campaign budget, once a detailed business plan of start-up costs and annual revenues and expenses are completed

According to the contract, Burnham would also work with stakeholders and staff — to be identified by Lansdale council — to develop a mission, vision and case statement for fundraising campaigns.

Burnham would also be responsible for a detailed organizational staffing plan, according to the contract.

Burnham's progress would be monitored via monthly reports and creative space needs for integration into architectural plans. She would also be tasked with coming up with a three-year operational budget and business plan.

The estimated number of days needed to complete work on the project is 48 days, at eight hours a day. In those 48 days, Burnham must meet 20 days with the architect and design team, 12 days with Lansdale staff and project management team, and six days with skateholders and the public; and spend 20 days in project research and writing.

Futhermore, Lansdale Council will make a motion tonight to file for a $500,000 grant under the Keystone Communities Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The grant would be used for public infrastructure improvements at 311 W. Main St.

Read more at this link.

Lansdale Borough Council meets at 9 p.m. at Lansdale Borough Hall, 1 Vine St.

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