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DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - The City of Denver has retained CRL Associates Inc., a strategic communications firm, to oversee the public discussion on what to do about Boettcher Concert Hall.

The idea of tearing down Boettcher surfaced in July, because there's not enough money available to make the needed upgrades and renovations at the longtime home of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

City voters in 2007 approved the Denver Better Bond Program, which set aside $60.7 million for improvements to Boettcher. The symphony was to pitch in $30 million more, but major renovations to the venue were called off in 2009 after the CSO wasn't able to raise the money. The city has about $16.8 million of the Denver Better Bond money still earmarked for work on Boettcher, including replacing the heating, cooling and plumbing systems, redoing the lobby and adding bathrooms. But that wouldn't leave any money for other improvements,

Kent Rice, executive director of Denver's Arts & Venues, which oversees the city-owned concert hall. has said the demolition of Boettcher is "likely the best option" considering the amount of money fixing the concert hall would take. If the decision to raze Boettcher is made, the city would consider building an outdoor venue in its place. But that idea has been met with considerable criticism because an outdoor space would be near heavily traveled Speer Boulevard.

Arts & Venues reached out to four consulting companies before deciding on CRL Associates and awarding it a $50,000 contract for the Boettcher job. The firm will be tasked with developing a communications strategy to reach the public, and coming up with a community outreach process that includes surveys and public meetings.

Join the discussion in the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/1vIIgKT.

(© 2014 American City Business Journals. All rights reserved.)

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