Rockford Public Library considers taking on Sullivan Center

Aug 1, 2012

The Rockford Public Library’s governing board is weighing whether to accept a very large gift…a 30-thousand square foot gift. The board hosted a public open house Tuesday at the Sullivan Center in downtown Rockford.

The owner of the theater, Richard Nordloff, wants to give it to the library to run as a community performance and meeting space. Library board president Paul Logli says he believes the library can afford to take on the theater:

Yes, there’s a price to it, but I think we can bear that price. We can get it dupported by rental fees, contributions, and grants.

Artists Ensemble Theater artistic director Richard Raether says there are still a lot of details to work out…including how to keep the venue affordable enough for not-for-profits to rent. But he adds that in theory, “a civic cultural center in the heart of downtown Rockford is a fabulous idea.”

Logli says the theater would only be used for events and classes: no books or offices would be moved from the main branch.  He hopes the board will vote on whether to take on ownership of the Sullivan Center at its August 27th meeting.