Scottville DDA to take over Optimist building.

November 17, 2019

Scottville DDA to take over Optimist building.

SCOTTVILLE — The Scottville Downtown Development Authority took action Thursday, Nov. 14, to enter into a lease agreement with the Scottville Optimist Club. The lease will give operation and maintenance oversight of the Optimist building to the DDA for a rate of $1,200 a year for five years. The Scottville Clown Band has committed to pay the lease payment on behalf of the DDA.

“This is a step towards fulfilling our goal of renovating the center, updating the band shell, and completing a sculpture for the site,” said DDA Chairman Joe Knowles. “This will mean that we can finally move forward with raising the estimated $750,000 needed for the project.”

Knowles said the center is essential for the economic sustainability of Scottville.

“This building is the gathering place for Scottville,” he said. “This is where we hold community events and concerts. It is the home of the Clown Band.”

Knowles said the community center will continue to be rented out for private gatherings and community events. Eventually, plans call for the updated building to include an indoor-outdoor venue for private and public events.

“When we reach our goal and complete the needed updates, this is going to be a place people are going to want to use,” Knowles said, adding that an engineer has inspected the building, built in the mid-1970s, and that it is structurally in good condition.

A committee is in place to raise the funds necessary for a complete renovation of the building, moving and updating the Scottville Clown Band Shell and commissioning local artist Harold David Cronk to create a sculpture dedicated to the Clown Band and the area’s agricultural roots.

“This has been in the works for the past several years. We are ready to move forward,” Knowles said.

Knowles, who also serves as president of the Optimist club, added that the Optimist club will continue to exist and will continue to utilize the building, as part of the lease agreement.

“The plan is for the DDA to ultimately purchase the building,” Knowles said. “This action will mean the Scottville Optimist Club will be able to devote more of its resources to fulfilling its mission of supporting youth in our community.”   

Donations to the Scottville Community Center and Sculpture project may be sent to the Community Foundation for Mason County, PO Box 10, Ludington, MI 49431.

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