The $80 million center should be finished in four years, according to Jim Brainard, Carmel's mayor, and will house the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and, it is hoped, visits from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
The performing arts center is part of a larger plan to develop Carmel's downtown and turn the town into both a tourist destination and place with plenty of cultural resources for residents.
The council voted 4-3 to build the center and to borrow the money for it. Funds for the center, among the most expensive projects ever undertaken in Carmel, will be raised by selling bonds and using taxes to pay back the bondholders.
The plan was not without its detractors. Kevin Kirby, the city council's president, voted against the plan, saying the center was too expensive. Wayne Wilson, a former city council member, distributed anti-center flyers throughout Carmel over the weekend. Other citizens wondered if a city as small as Carmel could support such a project.
During deliberations, Brian Mayo, another city council member, read a statement that said the debt incurred by the center would be allayed by "bring[ing] revenues, jobs, and businesses to the city of Carmel."