Carrie Rengers

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

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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