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Cultural Center of Charlotte County to be demolished and rebuilt

The Cultural Center has been closed since 2021.
Posted at 9:26 PM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 21:26:01-04

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — On March 26, Charlotte County Commissions voted to use $750,000 for the planning and design of a new Cultural Center of Charlotte County.

Since the 1960s the Cultural Center has been a staple for the community. Housing everything from community theater, dances, educational classes, a thrift shop and cafeteria, the Cultural Center had something for everyone and promoted socialization.

“I worked for almost 20 years volunteering at the Cultural Center which was the heartbeat to the community,” said Tom Kiepert.

“It was a wonderful thing for the community, it brought people together, there were always activities,” said Ed Dussault who frequented the Center.

The Cultural Center has been closed since 2021 when the non-profit running the Center closed, then the building was damaged by Hurricane Ian.

“The social impact was huge and the loss was very dramatic and I think a lot of people missed it even beyond description,” said Dussault.

On March 12, Commissioners agreed the Cultural Center building had sustained too much damage and needed to be torn down.

Now, Commissioners have agreed to move forward with the planning and design of a new Cultural Center.

“The Commission is committed to rebuilding the Cultural Center,” Commissioner Stephen R. Deutsch told Fox 4. “We’re doing it right, we’re doing it one step at a time.”

Deutsch said he expects demolition of the building to begin within the next year, with construction on a new Cultural Center beginning in the next couple of years.

“It's part of a process and we are trying to be very thorough about what we do and how we do it, but it’s all to meet the needs of the community,” said Deutsch.