By Sarah Zaragoza-Smith,
Dance instructor Pamela Trokanski’s plan to construct an arts hub in the empty lot next to her dance studio in East Davis will go to the Davis City Council on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The city planning commission passed the project on Oct. 14.
If passed, the project, dubbed “Life in 11 Dimensions,” will create a center for various types of art to cross-pollinate, according to Trokanski.
Trokanski named the development after the string theory idea that humans can only understand the first four of 11 existing dimensions.
“’Life in 11 Dimensions’ is specifically geared to help the community thrive in all aspects of their lives, and allow us to support another 15 local businesses,” Trokanski said.
The businesses that collaborated with Trokanski on her plans up to the city approval stage included Stone Soup Café, Serenity Wellness and Massage, Music Together of Davis, Movement and Stillness Massage, Reiki Focus, FitDeb Yoga, DZ Studios, Ask Patrick About Videography and Acme Theatre Company, along with several local artists.
At the planning commission meeting, several members of the Davis community spoke to the commission in support of the project, including Reiki practitioner Elizabeth Fulmer.
“Pamela said to me that she felt this community had given so much to her, and now she just wanted to give back,” Fulmer said.
The planning commission had two main concerns with the project: parking lot capacity and aesthetics of the building.
Commission member Stephen Streeter noted that the bus station near the development could help with parking concerns by allowing for alternative transportation, and the commission came to a consensus that the parking would only be an issue on rare occasions when several large-scale events occurred at one time in the area.
Commission member Marilee Hanson worried about the look of the building.
“It just looks so generic Davis. I think there’s a building at the high school that looks almost exactly like that,” Hanson said.
“I am not a wealthy woman,” Trokanski responded. “I don’t have the means to waste valuable space on a pyramid-shaped building.”
Instead, Trokanski planned for her two-story building to fit with the overall look of architecture already existing in Davis. The new building will be made a little more lively, however, by a 25-foot mural painted by local artists on the west-facing wall.
Commission member George Hague said before his affirmative vote on the project that he has “not seen an applicant with more enthusiasm […] so I would be hesitant to place restrictions on your artistic vision.”
Every planning commission member save Hanson voted in favor of the project, so Trokanski’s plans will go to the City Council with a recommendation from the planning commission that it be approved.
At the commission meeting, head architect for the project Robert Lindley of YLHA Architects recalled being impressed by Trokanski’s vision.
“I think it took me at least three good meetings and several phone calls to understand because it’s such an ambitious project,” he said.
Davis High senior Virginia Salomon, who works as a tap teacher and receptionist at Trokanski’s studio, is excited by the prospect.
“I think it’s a really huge project that could bring our community together, and I can’t wait to visit and see how it comes to be,” she said.