By Jay Mejia

A suggestion has been put forward to the Lee’s Summit City Council to consider using the vacant Arnold Hall to house a future center to be shared by multiple non-profit organizations.

Susan Coffman, who chairs the city’s Human Services Advisory Board, made a brief presentation to the city council during the public comment part of its meeting June 19 suggesting that the unused building could be a new non-profit center.

“We’ve been investigating various buildings for the opportunity to create such a center,” Coffman told the Tribune. “As part of the Lee’s Summit 360 plan, one of the first goals of health and human services is to create a center. In these economic times it has been nearly impossible to get someone to fund such a capital project.”

Coffman said the board sent out a survey to various non-profits to gauge interest in finding a place where multiple organizations could share resources and keep operational costs down.

“We had a dozen respondents express interest,” Coffman said. “Now that Arnold Hall may be a possibility for a center, we will do more outreach to see if this something others are also interested in participating.”

Coffman said the board will enlist the support of a councilmember, either Allan Gray or Diane Seif. Another survey to non-profits will go out by the end of this month, she added.

The city council has been discussing what should be done with Arnold Hall, how to use the property to support festivals put on by the Lee’s Summit Arts Council, and even perhaps demolish the site.

“We think using Arnold Hall for a non-profit center would be an affordable solution for non-profits,” Coffman said. “It would be good for them and for the city of Lee’s Summit.”