A $1-million poet's garden for the Cerritos Community Arts Center has been denied by the City Council, which also turned thumbs down on a less elaborate garden proposed for outside the actors' dressing room area behind the stage.
"You've got to draw a line someplace," Councilman Paul W. Bowlen said the day after the vote. He was echoing the sentiments of some council members who have become increasingly disturbed by escalating construction costs for the center.
When the idea of an arts center was conceived, cost estimates were around $20 million. By the time plans were turned into architectural blueprints and construction contracts were signed in 1989, the cost was up above $39 million. Total cost of completion is now estimated to be $46 million.
The poet's garden would have had walls, a trellis and fountain. It would have been adjacent to the large community meeting rooms in the north wing of the arts complex.