Art council working to finalize deal for Copeland Building

The Carson Valley Art Council, a nonprofit organization promoting local arts, has found the $1.8 million needed to purchase the old Copeland Lumber building in downtown Minden, thanks to a $400,000 donation from Big George Ventures.

The council plans to make the building their headquarters and convert part of it into a 400-seat theater.

"We are thrilled," said Theresa Chipp, a public relations representative of the art council. "We've been working on it for a while. We had put money on it last April, and got the donation in December in the nick of time."

She said the donation from Big George Ventures owner Ray Sidney made financing possible. Big George Ventures is a Carson Valley development company building a subdivision in northern Douglas County. Sidney has made donations to Douglas High School, Kahle Park and Jacks Valley Elementary School.

"The community is extremely supportive," said Chipp. "Especially the Town of Minden. We want to tie in to their plan for prosperity. We're envisioning the center to be the gateway of Minden, and a major catalyst in its revitalization."

Chipp said the council would like to use the storefront as soon as possible as an office, gallery and classroom, but that they'll have to host fundraisers to generate the money needed to convert part of the building into a theater.

"CVIC Hall only holds 290 people," she said. "We would like a large open space that could fit 350 to 500 people."

The 20,000 square foot Copeland Lumber building, at the intersection of Highway 395 and County Road, was built in the 1970s on old lumber yard, but has been abandoned for years.

According to their Web site, the Carson Valley Art Council has completed a structural integrity analysis of the building. They are in the process of creating architectural illustrations of the planned renovations, and are hoping to build a "mixed use auditorium with over four hundred fixed tiered seats."

"Because of the large size of the Copeland, we will be able to incorporate a large stage, ample backstage, and comfortable rehearsal areas into the plans. The theater will be designed to host both local productions as well as a wide variety of touring performances. The completed Copeland will also serve as a base for conferences, workshops, and lectures."


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