RACINE — Copper and teal may only be colors, but to those in charge of keeping Festival Hall on the financial upswing they’re pretty important.
To Racine Civic Center Executive Director Rik Edgar and members of the city’s Civic Center Commission, the hall’s existing teal roof is a vestige of the hall’s former, and unprofitable, design scheme. Changing it to copper will give the roof distinction, they argue. It will also update the look of the facility, a goal the commission and VenuWorks — the company that runs the center — have been working toward since 2009.
On Tuesday they took another stab at convincing aldermen to see things their way.
This time they were successful.
After a brief presentation by Edgar, the city’s Public Works and Services Committee voted 2-1, with Alderman Ray DeHahn voting “No,” to recommend to the City Council that the new roof be copper.
“It doesn’t help us rent the facility,” Edgar said of the teal roof. “It is off putting to private events, weddings. We meet with these folks. They come in and they go, ‘We are not going to rent your facility.’”
Edgar added that since taking over the facility, VenuWorks has helped net new business, in part by updating other parts of the hall’s color scheme. It changed the sea foam-colored carpet to a more neutral color and went from green to black chairs.
“We do feel very strongly that those color schemes send people away,” he said. “I thought I looked really awesome with a mullet in 1985 but I realized that I had to change my look if I wanted to be respected.”
The committee’s recommendation comes a little over a month after the council voted to 7-6 keep the roof color teal. Aldermen who voted against the commission’s recommendation then had argued that dispatching of the teal roof would spoil the city’s signature teal color scheme.
When commission Chairman James DeMatthew came to council during its July 17 meeting asking the council to reconsider its earlier decision, aldermen voted to send the request to committee for discussion.
Now that the committee has voted, its recommendation will go back to the council for consideration on Monday.
Replacing the building’s roof has been part of city’s capital improvement plans for a while. What the color of the roof should be has been the only bone of contention. There is no cost difference between a teal or copper roof, commissioners said.
Alderman Jim Morgenroth, who wasn’t present during the June 20 vote, believes that this time around the council will agree with the commission.
“I understand that there are a number of aldermen who have changed their minds,” Morgenroth said. “This will pass.”