Vista Field redevelopment meeting planned July 28 in Kennewick

Supporters of a proposed performing arts center at the former Vista Field airfield are looking for a strong turnout July 28 when the Port of Kennewick talks more about the progress of the Vista Field redevelopment.

Consultants are expected to discuss design standards, potential development, architectural themes and other changes made in recent months to the Vista Field draft master plan. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the Country Gentleman Event Center, 9221 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick.

Port officials are encouraging people to attend so they can review and comment on the next steps.

There has been tentative encouragement from public officials to have some form of performing arts center at Vista Field. But Steven Wiley, chairman of the Arts Center Task Force, said he hopes there will be a firm indication of support that his group can move forward with its plans for a design and fundraising.

“The more people that show up the better,” he told the Herald.

The port has been working to turn the former airfield near the Three Rivers Convention Center and Toyota Center into a new urban-style core with mixed residential and commercial properties.

Outside consultants, a special task force and several public meetings and forums were used to create a proposed plan for redevelopment.

The Arts Center Task Force ultimately wants a large venue, one with perhaps 2,400 seats, to serve the needs of the performing arts. For now, though, the group is looking for a large enough space to meet immediate needs — one with about 800 seats and some gallery display space.

A consultant brought in by the group already has compiled a report looking at the feasibility of a performing arts center and how such a facility could be sustainable. Wiley said he’s waiting until he knows the port and others back the idea before releasing it and fully developing a fundraising plan.

“We have the report, it’s pretty good,” he said.