The Cape Cod Times writes that a new center had been in the planning stages for 15 years, but actual construction was hindered by disputes over location. The late auto dealer Ernie Boch Sr., who in 1994 pledged $2.6 million to kick off fundraising for what would be the Boch Center for the Performing Arts, had wanted the venue built on Mashpee Commons. The board, however, decided on West Barnstable and planned to start building a 35,000-square-foot facility at the Cape Cod Conservatory in 2007.
This angered the Boch family, according to the paper; in July, the facility was renamed the Cape Cod Center for the Performing Arts and a settlement was reached between the center and the Boch family. The center returned $1.75 million of Boch's $3.1 million donation, which has been transferred to the Boch Family Foundation to fund Music Drives Us, a program that supports music education for New England children.
The center's board of directors will transfer the remaining Boch money to five Cape-based non-profit organizations, including the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, which will receive $2.1 million, according to the Times.
The center's executive director, T. K. Thompson, told the paper, "It was everything from politics to power to personal agendas," adding that he was not free to offer his own opinion on why the project failed.
But officials have reportedly not given up on building a performing arts center in downtown Hyannis; a citizens' advisory group and consultants are studying the feasibility of such a project, according to the Times.