Groundbreaking this week on new performing arts center in Nashville

Maple Leaf Center Image courtesy Brown County

NASHVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana tourist mecca is moving ahead with plans for an indoor performing arts center that local officials hope will lure visitors back to its once thriving arts-and-music village.

Brown County officials will break ground Tuesday on the $12.5 million Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center on the west side of Nashville.

The county-funded project is scheduled to open next summer with a 2,000-seat indoor performance space.

The (Bloomington) Herald-Times reports that Brown County has struggled to regain the tourist base that was once secured by the community's Little Nashville Opry, which was destroyed by a 2009 arson fire.

That venue brought big-name country and western performers to the town for decades, including Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride and the Oak Ridge Boys.