Published On: Sat, Jul 14th, 2012

Could the Scruggs Center open later this year?

Despite all the ups and downs, and twists and turns, it looks as though the Earl Scruggs Center could possibly open later this year. With more than $7.4 million collected via grants, gifts, donations, and taxpayer dollars, maybe it is really time for this entity to go out and make it or break it, without any more tax dollars. With the amount of money they have received, there seems to be no reason for the City of Shelby to be paying any salaries for Destination Cleveland County.

After receiving a lease from the County Commissioners, Destination Cleveland County was able to take possession of the old courthouse for the sum of $1 per year for 10 years, with an option to follow. They were also granted possession of some artifacts that were already stored in the courthouse, long before a lease was granted. As a matter of fact, Destination Cleveland County was formed in May 2006, according to the Commissioner’s minutes from February 5, 2007. Brownie Plaster and the Board of Directors of DCC basically sat down to talk about what would happen to the old museum. J.T. Scruggs, the nephew of Earl Scruggs, was said to have reviewed plans for “The Front Porch at the Old County Courthouse”, in regards to incorporating both music and history into the storytelling of our history here. Of course, before the final product would be delivered, the name would go through several branding changes.
[ the Earl Scruggs Center – Songs and Stories of the Carolina Foothills | Earl Scruggs and the Music & Stories from the American South | The Earl Scruggs Center: Songs & Stories of Southern Piedmont ]

The Earl Scruggs Center has been touted to be an economic powerhouse for the county, in that it would bring in around $12.8 million dollars in the first year, in tourism dollars, as well as create about 140 jobs, according to their Golden Leaf Grant.

In 2005, The City of Shelby paid $87,500 to a business to come up with a Master Plan for the City. And included in that plan, were many mentions of the Don Gibson Theatre at The Rogers, but due to a standoff between DCC and The Rogers Theater, DCC, decided to go elsewhere for the Don Gibson venue, thus, their new home at the old Flick. Regardless of all the hubbub about the Rogers and the restoration thereof, it seems that City Manager Rick Howell, the said mind behind Advance Shelby Unlimited, Inc., didn’t receive the memo regarding the Rogers. The man, in my opinion, has been nothing but a stumbling block for the Rogers, or else it would be open today. But, I guess he has to serve his place on the Board of DCC, and to help the Rogers would prove to be a conflict or something.

One has to wonder why, now that The Don Gibson Theatre is up and running elsewhere, the Rogers has been dropped like a bad habit and has been treated like the proverbial red-haired step-child. Remember when the Uptown Shelby Association was oh so interested in the renovation of the Rogers Theater? Uptown Shelby Association has seemed to always favor a performance sight for the Rogers, at least until DCC cast it aside, stating it would not work and they needed to rethink their dream. Even in those dreams, the Rogers has turned into a nightmare, due to the simple, willful neglect of the powers that be, and in my opinion, they don’t want any competition to the entity that cannot survive without the assistance of the taxpayers. It’s almost like a City Shakedown in black and white. Or maybe even local crony capitalism.

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