By the end of 2012, the Longboat Key Center for the Arts plans to demolish its ceramics wing and remove its outdoor kiln.
The Longboat Key Center for the Arts, a Division of Ringling College of Art and Design will hold a community meeting next week to seek feedback about the future of the center.
According to Christine Meeker Lange, Ringling special assistant to the president for media and community relations, the Arts Center is seeking an amendment and extension of its existing site plan, which was approved in 2003, four years before the merger with the Ringling College and the Arts Center.
The plan was later amended in 2009, extending the deadlines for the issuance of a building permit for plans to June 30, 2012, and for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy to June 30, 2013, according to a Jan. 13 letter from Tracy Wagner, Ringling vice president of finance and administration, sent to Town Planner Ric Hartman.
Wagner’s letter suggests that plans could move forward in four phases:
By the end of 2012, the Arts Center would demolish its ceramics wing and remove its outdoor kiln. The Arts Center would also move an exterior sign, which, according to Lange, will better address wayfinding on campus and “enhance the overall look of the property” and direct guests to the appropriate parking lot “thereby lessening unnecessary traffic in the neighborhood.”
The next proposed phase would take place during the first half of 2013 and involves moving a small cottage to another parcel on the property and connecting it to a covered walkway.
The third phase involves various renovations to parking, site improvements and completion of landscaping and would occur between July 2013 and September 2014.
Completion of the final phase is proposed to begin in 2015 and end in 2016 and bring a new two-story building to the Arts Center that could be used for flexible retreat space.
“The new structure will support four studio spaces, a catering kitchen for Center functions, as well as the appropriate spaces for restrooms, electrical and mechanical systems, elevators and stairwells,” Wagner’s letter states.
The new building could be used for destination-type retreats that would draw participants from across the country to retreats that could last for several days.
The site plan that was previously approved for the Arts Center called for construction of a new one-story building, however, according to Wagner’s letter, a two-story structure will result in a smaller footprint that provides greater square footage.
“We know that we’re going to need more space if we’re going to make the Arts Center grow,” Lange said.
Ringling will likely submit an application for a site-plan amendment to PZ&B in March, according to Lange.
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