WEST ORANGE, NJ — With the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) now in its 16th year of operation, the facility needs major upgrades, according to David Peart, producing director at OSPAC.
During his testimony at the West Orange council meeting on Tuesday, Peart told the mayor of council that a great deal of the equipment hasn’t been serviced since the facility was built.
“OSPAC could be a world class facility, but it needs the proper service and maintenance,” he said.
He added that he has connections that could bring major artists to OSPAC, but he cannot service them properly because “the equipment is not up to speed.”
“The facility has been neglected to say the least,” he said. “This includes the poor winterization, which must be addressed. Someone has to be held to account.”
Peart said that a master electrician who understands sound systems must be brought in to properly ground everything. He added that better lighting should be put into the patio area.
“We have a facility that could compete with NJPAC, and the excellent facilities in Rahway and Redbank if it were updated,” said Peart. “We need serious renovations.”
He said OSPAC needs a budget to maintain the expensive gear.
“Musicians play things loud, which cause gear issues,” he said.
Gross said the township has an agreement with The Arts Incubator to make sure the equipment is taken care of properly.
“We will go through the proposed budget, and we’ll have to identify what are the needs and what are the wants,” said Gross, who indicated that the submitted initial budget to upgrade the facility would cost $250,000.
During public comment, resident Mark Meyerowitz suggested that the township should consider selling OSPAC to a private company that would have the resources to upgrade the facility and relieve the township of taking on another large financial obligation.
Councilwoman Susan McCartney said that a public-private partnership might make sense for OSPAC and thanked Meyerowitz for making this suggestion.
The next council meeting will be Oct. 24. To read more about this meeting, click on the headlines below: