For Immediate Release
Date: December 15, 2015
Art and dance created by residents enrolled in City-sponsored cultural programs flanked City leaders who broke ground today at the site of Savannah’s future home for the Cultural Arts.
“The Cultural Arts Center will welcome all people,” Mayor Edna Jackson said under a brilliant blue sky. “From children exploring the arts for the very first time, to seniors refining the skills they have picked up through the years. You will see people of all types expressing themselves in creative ways.”
The Center will be built on a long-vacant lot at Oglethorpe Avenue and Montgomery Street — a key gateway into Savannah with wonderful proximity to Savannah’s other major art facilities, such as the Jepson Center for the Arts, the SCAD Museum of Art, and the Johnny Mercer Theater at the Savannah Civic Center. The development will also partially restore Elbert Square, one of Savannah’s “lost” squares on Montgomery Street.
The new Cultural Arts Center will include:
• Performance theater with a fixed stage and flexible space for up to 464 seats
• Theater back of house support (dressing rooms, set building shop, storage)
• Performing Arts Studio (75-100 seats)
• Five Studio Classrooms (2 visual arts, metals & glass, ceramic hand building and ceramic wheel building)
• Gallery space
• Community meeting space
• New community greenspace/passive park at the corner of Oglethorpe Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
• Urban sculpture garden at the corner of Oglethorpe Avenue and Montgomery Street
The facility is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017, when it will replace the current SPACE Gallery at Henry and Whitaker streets, a leased space that is of inadequate size and at the end of its useful life.
“There’s such love for this project, such passion for it,” said City Manager Stephanie Cutter. “You can clearly see the voice of the community has been heard, reflected in the design and uses of the building. You can see we’re on our way to a monumental Cultural Arts Center.”
Present at Tuesday’s groundbreaking were representatives from project architect Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects; Project Manager CHA Consulting, Inc.; and Construction Manager At Risk M.B. Kahn Construction, Inc./The Polote Corporation.