A model of the proposed Belfast Civic Center became available for public viewing this week in the window of the former Phoenix Gallery at 159 High St., next to Darby’s Restaurant.

Supporters of the project who want to help with planning the Civic Center are urged to attend a meeting at the Boat House Thursday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. where a progress report will be made by the interim committee. Ruth Gelsinger, interim chair of the Belfast Civic Center Committee, emphasized that the model demonstrates the vision for a fully developed events and entertainment facility at the Spring Street property vacated last year by Mathews Brothers.

Reconstruction on a modest budget in the first year would allow groups of up to 500 people to book the facility for meetings, small conventions, moderately-scaled entertainment, wedding receptions, etc., according to Gelsinger. In phase two, the committee would use this initial investment to obtain foundation and economic development funding for completion of an amphitheater suitable for lectures, screenings and full-scale theatrical productions.

The committee volunteers, numbering more than 40, are actively involved in creating the design and business plan for the multipurpose facility and began this week to interview Belfast organizations and convention-booking services about specific needs for space configuration and equipment. Gelsinger urged Belfast-area businesses and community organizations to contact her at ruthgelsinger@gmail.com with details about their interest in using the proposed civic center.

“Right now we’re working from the Council’s feasibility study, a set of architectural plans and an armload of catalogs,” she said. “The needs and dreams of real people in Belfast are what will make the Civic Center come alive and help to revitalize Belfast business, especially in the waterfront area.”