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Ames CenterThe Black Box Theatre in the Ames Center. (Photo compliments of the Ames Center).
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Ames Center 2017Aerial view of the grounds surrounding the Ames Center. Photo compliments of the Ames Center.
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Ames Center schedule 2017 - 2018The schedule for events at the Ames Center for season 2017 - 2018.
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Best year yet at Ames Center 2017The February 9, 2017 Burnsville Sun/Thisweek News reports on the year end 2016 activities and finances of the Ames Center. Executive Director Brian Luther was interviewed.
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Ames Center adds culture to the city 2018The Burnsville Community Guide 2018 - 2019 features information on the Ames Center.
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Ames CenterOne in a series of random photos shot July 2017 of the "Heart of the City" area of Burnsville.

The 54-acre Heart of the City is a smart-growth based, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly downtown area for Burnsville. Featuring a host of retail shops, business and office space, a community arts center, community park and diverse housing opportunities, the Heart of the City is the place to Live, Work, Shop and Play.

Past
The Heart of the City project grew from the Partnerships for Tomorrow community visioning project and community feedback that identified the creation of a central meeting area as a community goal. The Heart of the City grew from a simple streetscape project in 1995 to a full-fledged redevelopment effort. In 1999, the Burnsville City Council adopted a framework design manual and zoning ordinance which outlines design standards and other requirements to assure that future development is consistent with the community’s vision.

Future
The Heart of the City is focused on bringing arts and cultural opportunities to the area and building tax base to benefit the entire community. Along with cultural development, the Heart of the City is aiming at economic development. At full development, the Heart of the City area will generate approximately $2-$3 million in property taxes annually compared to the $200,000 it did before redevelopment.
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Ames Center 2017Back Entry to the Ames Center.
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The Ames Center 2017Page 24 - The 30th anniversary booklet for Experience Burnsville - the Burnsville Convention and Vistors Bureau includes a feature on the history of the Ames Center. The ground breaking took place 2007 with the grand opening in 2009. First named the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, it was renamed the Ames Center in 2014.
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Ames Center Season GuideAn example of the Ames Center Season Guide. Photo compliments of the Ames Center.
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A guide to the Ames Center including Black Box Theatre and Gallery 2017Published in the Ames Center Season Guide August 2017 - June 2018 background and a tour of facilities.
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Ames Center signExterior sign at Ames Center viewed from Nicollet Avenue.
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Ames Center 2015Exterior photo of the Ames Center in the Heart of the City, compliments of the City of Burnsville.
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Ames Center dedication plaqueOne in a series of photos of the Heart of the City, shot in July 2017.
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Ames Center 2017Seating area in the Main Theatre of the Ames Center.
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Ames CenterWinter photo of the exterior and surrounding park at the Ames Center, 2016.
Ames_Construction_gets_naming_rights_2013.pdf
Ames Construction to get arts center naming rights 2013August 16, 2013- The Burnsville Sun Thisweek News reports:

Terms of deal await

Naming rights — and the revenue that goes with them — have proved an elusive catch for the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, which the city opened in 2009.

But a deal is finally at hand, involving a storied local company with a rich philanthropic history.

The city and Burnsville-based Ames Construction Inc. hope to soon announce a formal agreement granting Ames the naming rights, the city announced Monday.

City Council members celebrated the news at their Tuesday work session, deflecting credit to Mayor Elizabeth Kautz. She personally cultivated the deal with principals of the family-owned company, colleagues said.

Council Member Mary Sherry credited the mayor’s “persistence and graciousness.”

“Very few companies could afford to do it, and they really did step up,” Council Member Bill Coughlin said. “What a wonderful name that will be attached to the BPAC.”

The tentative agreement calls for Ames’ name to grace the arts and event center, which includes a 1,014-seat main theater, a black box theater, meeting spaces and an art gallery.

City officials remain tight-lipped about what kind of money might be involved.

Terms of the deal will be solidified this fall, the city said.

An old marketing brochure from Friends of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center may or may not offer a clue. The nonprofit, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the center in cash, labor and equipment, was at one time peddling full naming rights for $1.5 million.

The Ames deal is yet another step toward better financial health for the center, which was predicted to post annual operating losses but has cut them in recent years.

Operating losses totaled $285,747 in 2012, compared with $304,853 in 2011, according to the city. And the city negotiated revenue-enhancement incentives in its new contract with VenuWorks, the center’s management company.

Ames officials have “seen that the Performing Arts Center has done well,” Kautz said.

Ames Construction, a heavy civil and industrial contractor, has Burnsville roots that date back more than 50 years. It has regional offices in several Western and Midwestern states.

The company’s vast portfolio of projects ranges from the airport in Denver, Colo., to the Crosstown/Interstate 35W interchange and the Highway 13/County Road 5 interchange in Burnsville.

Naming rights aside, the company has already “made very significant contributions to the construction of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center,” according to a December 2012 council proclamation designating an Ames Construction Week in Burnsville to honor the company’s 50th anniversary.

In addition to donating to the arts center, Ames donated the bronze sculpture on the north side of Burnsville Parkway that features a workman and an antique earth mover behind a workhorse.

Its many other philanthropic projects include the Ames Arena in Lakeville. And Kautz said the company’s contributions to the expansion of Fairview Ridges Hospital now underway “triggered” the project.

Company executives include founder and President Richard Ames and his brothers, Raymond (“Butch”) and Ron.

“They’re salt of the earth, and they’re wonderful people,” Council Member Dan Kealey said.

They have a “tremendous amount of respect and admiration for you,” he told the mayor.
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Ames Center SignOne in a series of random photos shot July 2017 of the "Heart of the City" area of Burnsville.

The 54-acre Heart of the City is a smart-growth based, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly downtown area for Burnsville. Featuring a host of retail shops, business and office space, a community arts center, community park and diverse housing opportunities, the Heart of the City is the place to Live, Work, Shop and Play.

Past
The Heart of the City project grew from the Partnerships for Tomorrow community visioning project and community feedback that identified the creation of a central meeting area as a community goal. The Heart of the City grew from a simple streetscape project in 1995 to a full-fledged redevelopment effort. In 1999, the Burnsville City Council adopted a framework design manual and zoning ordinance which outlines design standards and other requirements to assure that future development is consistent with the community’s vision.

Future
The Heart of the City is focused on bringing arts and cultural opportunities to the area and building tax base to benefit the entire community. Along with cultural development, the Heart of the City is aiming at economic development. At full development, the Heart of the City area will generate approximately $2-$3 million in property taxes annually compared to the $200,000 it did before redevelopment.
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Ames Center GallaryThe July, 2017 display at the Ames Gallary.
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Ames GallaryThe July, 2017 art display at the Ames Center Gallary.
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Glass windows of Ames CenterOne in a series of photos of the Heart of the City, shot in July 2017.
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Ames CenterMain entry of the Ames Center with stairs to level 2.
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Ames CenterOne in a series of photos of the Heart of the City, shot in July 2017.

The 54-acre Heart of the City is a smart-growth based, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly downtown area for Burnsville. Featuring a host of retail shops, business and office space, a community arts center, community park and diverse housing opportunities, the Heart of the City is the place to Live, Work, Shop and Play.

Past
The Heart of the City project grew from the Partnerships for Tomorrow community visioning project and community feedback that identified the creation of a central meeting area as a community goal. The Heart of the City grew from a simple streetscape project in 1995 to a full-fledged redevelopment effort. In 1999, the Burnsville City Council adopted a framework design manual and zoning ordinance which outlines design standards and other requirements to assure that future development is consistent with the community’s vision.

Future
The Heart of the City is focused on bringing arts and cultural opportunities to the area and building tax base to benefit the entire community. Along with cultural development, the Heart of the City is aiming at economic development. At full development, the Heart of the City area will generate approximately $2-$3 million in property taxes annually compared to the $200,000 it did before redevelopment.
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Ames Center exterior walk wayOne in a series of photos of the Heart of the City, shot in July 2017.
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Ames Center Art GallaryAmes Center currently holds eight gallery exhibits every calendar year in its 2,000 square-foot art gallery. Their mission is to celebrate the visual arts by displaying a diverse collection of artwork from local emerging and professional artists.
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Ames sculpture.Burnsville Bulletin August September 2001 reports on the unveiling of the new sculpture.
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Ames Center Main StageThe Ames Center, formerly Burnsville Performing Arts Center, opened in January 2009. The center has two theatres, a 1,014 seat proscenium stage and an intimate 150 seat Black Box Theatre. The Lobby is two stories tall, all glass, with a sweeping view of Nicollet Commons Park, the Minnesota River Valley, and the Minneapolis Skyline.

In addition to the Theatres, the center has a 2,000-square-foot art gallery, meeting rooms and a large rehearsal room. There is additional space for banquets, special events and receptions.

Presentations at the Ames Center include cultural events, dramas, comedies, dance and musical acts from local arts organizations and national touring artists.
Burnsville_begins_crating_terms_to_sell_naming_rights_2013.pdf
Burnsville begins crafting terms of deal to sell naming rights for arts center 2013August 12, 2013 St. Paul Pioneer Press reports:

Ever since Burnsville City Council member Dan Kealey saw Lakeville’s Ames Arena ice facility, he’s “always been a little bit jealous” of the neighboring city’s success getting a building sponsored.

Now he can chase that feeling, as Burnsville gets to work on an agreement with Ames Construction for the naming rights to the Burnsville Performing Arts Center.

On Tuesday, the city council began what will likely be a lengthy and involved process, and one without much precedent — this may be the city’s first sponsored building, spokesman Marty Doll said.

The dollar amount and length of the naming rights agreement, first announced Monday, are up in the air. In previous documents, the city said it was seeking $75,000 to $100,000 a year for a 10- or 20-year deal.

Doll said the final agreement might not hew to those figures. Ames, a Burnsville-based company, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

But anything in that ballpark would be a financial boon for a $20 million facility that has been chipping away at an operating deficit since it opened in 2009. Last year, it lost $253,000 — its smallest loss yet — on total revenues of about $1 million.

The center includes a 1,014-seat main stage theater, a black box theater, an art gallery and meeting spaces.

The losses haven’t sat well with some residents and lawmakers. When the city renewed its contract with management company VenuWorks, it built heavy incentives for shrinking the deficit into the deal.

Tuesday’s action, which came at a city council work session, was light on specifics of the deal but heavy on praise for getting an agreement into place.

Council member Mary Sherry credited Mayor Elizabeth Kautz for soliciting Ames’ backing.

She said the road to finalizing the deal will be “a long process, but a good one.”

Bill Coughlin, another council member, praised Ames.

“Very few companies could afford to do it, and they really did step up,” he said.

Kautz said the facility’s success in finding its footing and nudging its books in the right direction over the years helped persuade the company to lend its support — and name — to the building.

“When you put your name on something, you want people to know that it’s a winning product,” she said. “They see that the performing arts center has done well. They see that and they trust us.”
Burnsville_to_sell_naming_rights_to_arts_center_2013.pdf
Burnsville to sell naming rights to arts center to Ames 2013December 14, 2013 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

The Burnsville City Council is scheduled to approve the sale of naming rights to the Burnsville Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.

In exchange for $100,000 a year for 10 years from Ames Construction Inc. of Burnsville, the city will rename the building the Ames Center.

Ames is a contractor known for work on major road and industrial projects. The company was founded in Burnsville in 1963.

Under the agreement between Ames and the city, the Ames name would remain on the building after the 10-year payments have ended.

City staff members are working with Ames on a new logo and sign, which will be revealed in January. A reception to celebrate the new partnership and unveil the sign is being planned for the first quarter of 2014.

The $20 million city-owned arts center, which has a 1,000-seat main theater, a 150-seat black-box theater and an art gallery, opened in 2009 in the Heart of the City redevelopment area. It had an operating deficit of $253,466 in 2012.
Burnsville_will_get_arts_center.pdf
Burnsville will get arts center 2007Dakota County Tribune and Thisweek News March 15, 2007 reports that Burnsville will finally get a performing arts center, a divided City Council ruled March 5. The vote was 3 - 2 for a project that's been discussed since the 1990s.
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Ames Center 2017April, 2017 over 950 students from seven schools for a daytime performance by the Dakota Valley Symphony and Chorus. Photo compliments of the Ames Center.
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