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Tentatively named Garvey Creative Center to open in the late Jean Garvey's home

01/22/2014 11:54 AM

01/22/2014 12:25 PM

Ann Garvey with her late mother, Jean, in front of their longtime home that Garvey is converting to an event center. WICHITA — One of Wichita's best-known – but unofficial – event centers closed when Ann Garvey moved from her home on Spring Drive in Spring Acres five years ago.

Garvey opened her 10,000-square-foot house, which was on a compound that included a guest house and recording studio, for free for all kinds of events and fundraisers.

Now, she's going to do the same thing with her late mother Jean Garvey's house, but it will be in a more official capacity.

"Well, I have to be reasonable – for the first time in my life," Garvey says.

Jean Garvey bequeathed her house at 8427 E. Douglas to the neighboring Independent School, which she founded.

Jean Garvey and her husband, the late Willard Garvey, built their 10,000-square-foot house on about 40 acres just east of Douglas and Rock Road in 1957. They used some of that acreage to build the school in 1980.

Ann Garvey says the school can't afford to spend money on the house.

"It needed to have a purpose," she says. "To me, it seemed that this is a natural use for this house. It had actually been that during our lifetime."

She says her parents hosted innumerable concerts, benefits, fundraisers and parties there.

"It's just a natural evolution from that," Garvey says.

The working name for it is the Garvey Creative Center. "Working" is the key word, Garvey says.

"I'm trying to develop a business plan that this would be truly autonomous and stand alone," she says. "We have to find out how that's really going to work."

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About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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