The Hope Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission learned Tuesday that the Hope Amtrak passenger platform project has been nominated for a national Amtrak award.
The Hope Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission learned Tuesday that the Hope Amtrak passenger platform project has been nominated for a national Amtrak award. “We are in the running for an award in reference to our platform,” Parks and Tourism Director Paul Henley said. “We had to submit 15 names of people who were instrumental in getting the platform done to the selection committee. If Hope wins this award, 15 people from Hope will go to Washington, D. C. for an awards ceremony in November. They would be traveling on Amtrak and it would take two days to get there and two days to travel back to Hope.” Henley did not offer an additional details on the timeline for the nomination. Henley also reported that one of the biggest expenses in the renovation of the Northside Park Community Center has been resolved. The facility was extensively damaged by an arson fire in February. “We got an estimate of $20,000 to replace the floors, but volunteers went in and cleaned them, and they were solid, so the floors will not have to be replaced,” Henley said. “The total estimate of the work at Northside was $80,000, so $20,000 of that will not have to be used for the floors.” In old business, a Legion Field update was discussed. According to Henley, “we are finished at Kelly Fields. Now, we're working on Legion Field. Progress is good and steady and we will use the backstop piping. It's still in solid shape. We have the bleacher covers to get done and that is all in the plan.” In other business, an acting troupe was given permission to stage two performances at Klipsch Auditorium eight weeks after beginning practice. They would practice Monday and Tuesday of each week until the performances. The board agreed to let the troupe use the auditorium. The board also learned that the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council has turned over a new leaf and began traveling in a new direction, after the retirement of Repha Buckman last year. “The Arts Council is going to use the Cairo-Fulton Depot for more student art projects and will use the conference room and the hallway for student paintings, art, etc.,” Steve Montgomery, president of the Tourism Commission, said. “At one time, the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce and Mrs. Klipsch had an agreement about Klipsch Museum, but, at some point, the museum moved from the building. “When the Chamber of Commerce moved to its present location, the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council moved in and Repha Buckman and Mrs. Klipsch worked together to restore the museum to the depot,” Montgomery said. Now that the new Arts Council is in place, the board wants to use the depot for an art gallery and for student artwork, he explained. The Tourism Commission has put up signs directing visitors to the Klipsch Museum, and have had them up for quite a while. Henley said that “we have a vested interest in the museum. We don't want anything to happen to it. It may be able to be moved to another location.”