PACKARD HALL Panel works on strategy

The deadline for the plan is next week.
WARREN -- A committee working to revamp Packard Music Hall is inching toward its deadline to map out a marketing and financial strategy but says it's not ready to make a pitch to the city.
Officials imposed a June 30 deadline for the committee and Packard Band Trustees to find a way to be self-sustaining.
Mayor Hank Angelo requested that Packard officials make a presentation at today's meeting of city council's finance committee.
A committee of Packard Music Hall officials and trustees said Monday, however, they're not ready.
Trustee Raymond Bagaglia said that Packard officials were not notified of the meeting and that he feels more work needs to be done before council gets the presentation.
Contribution: Council agreed to kick in $75,000 to help fund the hall for the first six months this year. Council has said that if the plan is accepted, it will appropriate some money for the rest of the year.
The Packard committee has been meeting with architects, planners and officials from Kent State University Trumbull Campus to come up with the plan. The committee will meet again at 9 a.m. Monday at the music hall on Mahoning Avenue.
Plans include seeking a liquor license, establishing a nonprofit foundation and building a box office.
Optimistic: "I feel we're making good progress," said Jeffrey Gress, a theatrical consultant with ArtSpace Design Ltd., contracted to help with planning.
Plans to address building code issues and interior and exterior improvements are being made, and Gress said he's working on recommendations for ventilation system upgrades and enhancing acoustics in the auditorium.

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