Updated: Saturday, 12 Jun 2010, 11:56 AM MDT
Published : Friday, 11 Jun 2010, 11:17 PM MDT
SANTA FE (KRQE) - A group of students, preservation historians and a concert promoter are crying foul because the 50-year-old Paolo Soleri Amphitheater in Santa Fe is set to close and be demolished.
Concerts and high school graduations have been part of the Paolo Soleri on the Santa Fe Indian School campus since 1965.
The school owns the amphitheater and has decided to demolish the venue.
Friday more than a dozen people met with a state preservation committee at the state capitol to see how they can save the Paolo.
Indian School graduate Fran Abeyta said her graduation ceremony at the Paolo Soleri was something she waited for her whole life. She said getting rid of the building would ruin that experience for future students.
"To preserve something we care so deeply about is so important to so many people," she said. "Not only pueblo people, but to the Santa Fe community as a whole."
Concert Promoter Jamie Lenfestey said the amphitheater could have bright future for music performances if the school were to give it a chance.
"I feel like the Indian School does not know the potential, the pot of gold that they have," he said.
But the Indian School said that pot of gold is empty
"It costs them about $100,000 a year to maintain," Indian School Spokesperson Ed Calabaza said.
Calabaza said there are few concerts each year at the amphitheater and the money for the Paolo could better spent on students.
"Whether they be new facilities, giving out scholarships, getting better computers," he said.
Calabaza said concerts at the Paolo Soleri have also attracted drug use and fights in the past, something the school wants nothing to do with on campus.
The preservation committee and the Santa Fe City Council have urged the Indian School to keep the Paolo alive, but in the end the school has the final say.
"It is owned an operated by the 19 pueblos in the state of New Mexico, so it is a sovereign entity," Calabaza said. "It is on federal trust land, so we would like to be good community partners and we appreciate the city's efforts."
Calabaza said the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater will close August 1.
He said the Indian School does not have a demolition date, and could not tell News 13 what they plan to put in its place.