Groundbreaking for new Cultural Arts Center was held on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Oglethorpe Avenue.
Savannah Mayor Edna B. Jackson, City Manager Stephanie Cutter, and City Aldermen joined with representatives from Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects, CHA Consulting, Inc., M.B. Kahn Construction., Inc./ The Polote Corporation and City staff.
The Cultural Arts 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.
This will be a place where working artists can interact and share with each other, and where students of all ages — from young children to retired seniors — can engage in the visual and performance arts. It will not be just a place where local people can see good art, hear good music and enjoy good performances. It will be a place where they can be engaged in creating art too.
Major aspects of the design will include Performance Theater (flexible space with up to 464 seats and fixed stage; theater back of house support (dressing rooms, set building shop, storage); Performing Arts Studio (75-100 seats); five studio classrooms, gallery space, community meeting space, new community greenspace/passive park at the corner of Oglethorpe Ave and MLK, Jr. Blvd. and Urban sculpture garden at the corner of Oglethorpe Ave and Montgomery St. Site work under way. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with completion expected in the summer of 2017.