Mayor asks state lawmakers for $1 million towards performing arts center

(Photo Courtesy: City of Gaffney)

GAFFNEY, S.C. – The Mayor of Gaffney is not giving up on building a new performing arts center after city council voted it down last month.

The empty lot on Frederick Street is the proposed site for the $5 million project.

“I know this could be the catalyst to revive downtown Gaffney,” he said.

Proposed Frederick Street location.
Proposed Frederick Street location.

Gaffney mayor Henry Jolly says it would also help the Gaffney Little Theater get out of a building he says is deteriorating. He says $2 million were to come from fundraising and $3 million from the hospitality tax.

“Provide quality entertainment and improve quality of life for the citizens,” said Mayor Jolly.

During a packed meeting council voted 4 to 3 against building the theater last month.

”I was heartbroken, but I just consider it another bump in the road,” said Mayor Jolly.

The mayor is now trying to get the project over that bump. He wrote a letter asking local lawmakers to “Appropriate from state funds to the city of Gaffney, one million dollars” for the theater.

“It’s certainly not without merit and not without precedent, because the state of South Carolina has funded projects similar to this throughout the state,” said Jolly.

Councilman Glenn Fuller voted against the theater and tells 7 News the $5 million price tag is “an astronomical amount of money” and that the project is not popular among people he’s talked with.

“The good book says where there is no vision the people perish and I honestly think we’re being short sighted and showing no vision if we don’t continue this thing out,” said Mayor Jolly.

Mayor Jolley says he’s still waiting to hear back from state lawmakers. He says the city has already invested about $800,000 into the project.

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