Cultural Arts Center plans revealed - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Cultural Arts Center plans revealed

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Plans to build a world class cultural arts center were revealed to the public at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in downtown Savannah Thursday evening.

Right now, the SPACE Gallery is the city's only public performing arts facility, and it was originally an old grocery store that they have turned into a black box theater.

The mayor and city council members got a sneak peak in their workshop meeting Thursday. They were overwhelmed when they saw the plans to transform the empty parking lot across the street from the Savannah Civic Center into a 39,000 square foot cultural arts center.

"Oh we are very excited," said Mayor Edna Jackson. "We have just seen a rendering of what the project will look like."

Architects said this will be Savannah's first world class performance and recital hall. It will be a two story building that's not only designed for performances, but will include administration offices, studio classrooms and even a gallery for local artists.

"What you will see in the future is an amazing building that will be a new signature for the city of Savannah," said architect Patrick Shay, Senior Principal at Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects.  

Even though it will be nestled among many of the Savannah College Art and Design buildings, this is a city project.

"It's independent from the college and very much available to all the citizens of Savannah," said Shay.  

Which means it's being paid by tax payer dollars.  The $19 million project will be built using SPLOST money, a penny tax that voters approved.

These plans have been in the works for nearly 10 years and according to the mayor, this is a long over-due necessity for the city.

"We just want to make sure that the community will accept it and we can go ahead and start putting shovels in the ground," said Mayor Jackson.

Construction is expected to begin next year and they hope to have it completed by 2017.

If you didn't get chance to attend the meeting, they are still asking for public input.

Be sure to log onto http://www.savannahga.gov/Blog.aspx?CID=7

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