Sarasota Orchestra currently looking for a new home

What's next for the Sarasota Orchestra?

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s back to square one for the Sarasota Orchestra in their search for a new home. The Orchestra’s plan to build a new venue at Payne Park was scrapped this week by the city commission.

Right now, the Orchestra will go back over its list of possible new locations, and see if one of them will work.

Sarasota Orchestra with a winning performance in the theatre, loses in front of the city commission. The organization spent nearly two years studying multiple sites, only to have Payne Park taken off the table.

The Van Wezel, an Orchestra partner for several years, would like to see a solution that keeps the Orchestra in Sarasota.

“I think they are an amazing orchestra and are vital to the arts community and to the city so I really hope they find a great solution for them," Executive Director of Van Wezel Performing Arts, Mary Bensel said.

Earlier this week, President and CEO of Sarasota Orchestra, Joseph McKenna says that wherever it goes, the Orchestra would be great collaborators with the city, the neighborhoods and the environmental community. After the Payne Park decision, McKenna said in a statement.

“The orchestra’s committed to finding an urgently needed new home and that will continue to be our foremost goal. Given the City Commission’s decision, Payne Park is no longer under consideration. Our work continues on finding a site for a new music center.”

When it comes to choosing a new site, one person who was against the Payne Park location has some advice.

“I think that they need to take a good look at how many parks are in Sarasota," Mikael Sandstrom, a citizen who opposes the move to Payne Park said. "If you just wander off into the nearest park, is there something that you’ll really enjoy. At what point do we just put our foot down and say no...there are these parks and we need to preserve them.”

The Sarasota Orchestra had 13 different sites so, one of those other sites could possibly be an option.

The city and the Orchestra have a mutual desire to keep the Orchestra in the city, so look for future plans to try to make that happen.

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