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Facilities Update
Houston Ballet's Center For Dance To Open In Spring 2011


New $53 Million Building Will Be the Largest Professional
Dance Company Facility
in the United States

In a move designed to propel Houston Ballet to the next phase of its development, the company broke ground on July 15, 2009 on the Center for Dance, a new 115,000-sq. ft. facility located at 601 Preston Street at Smith Street in downtown Houston. The six-story building, designed with sustainable features, is budgeted at $53 million, and is set for completion in early spring of 2011. The building will boast nine dance studios, a dance laboratory that seats 200 for presentations as well as rehearsals, an on-site dormitory, and artistic, administrative and support facilities for Houston Ballet and its academy.

"With the new Center for Dance, we move a step closer to the next chapter in Houston Ballet's history: a state-of-the-art facility for the company located in the heart of Houston's Theater District, just across the street from Wortham Theater Center where the company performs. Moving into the Center for Dance will be a great leap forward for the company, allowing us to significantly expand our education and dance training programs," comments Jesse H. Jones II, co-chairman of the capital campaign and a longtime trustee of Houston Ballet Foundation.

"This building is a tangible symbol of the city of Houston's passionate commitment to the arts. And it will cement Houston's reputation as an international center for the performing and visual arts," Jones continues, "During a time of national economic recession, when the construction and architecture industries are facing major challenges, the construction of the new Center for Dance has created jobs for Houstonians. When the building is completed in 2011, over 350,000 man hours will be invested in this project. In many ways, the construction of the Center for Dance – occurring at a time of significant financial challenge – is a symbol of the resiliency and vitality of Houston, its economy and its people."

The new structure, designed by globally-recognized architecture firm Gensler, will be the largest professional dance company facility of its kind constructed in the United States. The Houston Chronicle has observed that the building "could be the most exciting new architecture Houston has seen in decades." (July 31, 2009) Art Gensler, chairman and founder of Gensler, acknowledged the importance of the project, commenting: "What a privilege it's been to create the new home for Houston Ballet, literally opening a window through the building's design that lets all of Houston see the beauty, talent and passion of Houston Ballet. We are thrilled to be part of this wonderful addition to downtown Houston and its Theater District."

The new facility will more than double the space that Houston Ballet has at its current home located at 1916 West Gray Street in the River Oaks area of Houston, which the company renovated in 1984 and features six dance studios. Houston Ballet's current home on West Gray is 50,000 sq. ft., and the new Center for Dance will be 115,000 sq. ft., of which 24,250 sq. ft. will be rehearsal studios. The Center for Dance will become Houston Ballet’s sixth home since its founding in 1955, when it was first housed in a renovated garage at 813 Lovett Boulevard in the Montrose area of Houston.
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