They want answers about the Grove Playhouse
I think everyone is looking for answers. Just yesterday, as I was taking this photo, I was stopped by a couple of people asking me what the latest news was. I didn't have much to tell them.
From the Save the Playhouse Facebook page:
Michael Spring and Michael Peyton have been making intimidating phone calls to one of our Save the Playhouse members in an attempt to whitewash Spring's efforts to demolish the Playhouse, denying any wrongdoing. If Michael Spring is denying what is being reported here, this is an open invitation for him to speak freely on this page. Here is what we want to know from Mr. Spring:
--Why did he break protocol as part of the architect selection committee by refusing to allow the candidates to give their prepared oral presentations, something that is standard procedure on all county projects?
--Why did he say initially to the County Board of Commissioners and to the Mayor, that the Playhouse structure will not be taken down yet later change his plan to favor replacing the building with a much smaller 200-300 seat theater with retail?
--How does he justify hijacking the citizens vote to spend our $20 million to restore the building to instead be used on demolishing it and putting up a theater a fraction of the size? His claim that an 1100 seat theater is not economically feasible is incomprehensible given that his 200-300 seat plan does not create the critical mass needed to restore the local economy or the Playhouse profits. And he's talking about economic feasibility? How does a smaller audience= more money? Makes no sense.
--Why was no historical board member present on the five member architect selection committee panel given the historical significance of the Playhouse and the mandate of the voters to restore it as such? You had the Miami Parking Authority and FIU represented on the selection committee but not a historical board member?
--Why was there no requirement/criteria established for the selected candidate to have any experience restoring historic theaters or structures?
--Why was Arquitectonica selected as a developer of the project (receiving, by far, the panel's highest ratings) given the fact that just recently the Miami Herald reported they are the subject of a multi-million dollar lawsuit resulting from major construction flaws of the Miami Heat Arena, costing the NBA team $17 million in repairs?
--Mr Spring, under the criteria titled "qualifications and design awards" you gave candidate Arquitectonica a rating of 30 out of a maximum of 35 potential points. Yet you gave Richard Heisenbottle only 25 out of 35. Similarly, under the criteria of "Knowledge and Past Performance on Similar Projects" you awarded Arquitectonica the maximum 35 out of 35 points yet only awarded Heisenbottle a mere 25 out of 35. This is in spite of the glaring facts that the Miami Heat certainly would not agree that $17 million in Arquitectonica's construction flaws is deserving of a maximum score. And yet Richard Heisenbottle, who did a remarkable job restoring the historic downtown Gusman Theater and countless other historic treasures was rated much lower. How do you justify this gross oversight?
--Lastly but not least, why was there no vision plan prior to sending out RFPs in seeking an architect to restore a widely revered landmark and iconic emblem that dates back to this city's pioneer era? Considering that this is something that is loaded with so much history and reputation, it is incomprehensible how someone with the title of "Cultural Affairs Director" could fumble so badly in failing to protect and enrich something that is the epitome of culture on a local and national scale.
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