Expansion is a real ‘bar raiser’ for region

Belmont Elementary School students presented Governor McDonnell with a photo from their experience at the Workhouse.

     (PNAN-VA) –  “These three big draws – performances, classes and events, will take the Workhouse Arts Center to a new level. We already bring over 200,000 people per year to the Workhouse, and after Phase II is done we hope to double that,” said Lorton Arts Foundation Board Chairman Richard Hausler. In late December 2010, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, joined in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Phase II construction.

     During the event, President and CEO of the Lorton Foundation Sharon Mason spoke on the economic impact.  “When we complete Phase II of construction, we will have employed more than 600 people – architects, engineers, archeologists, bankers, consultants, construction professionals and laborers. In 2010, we have revenue from retail and art sales of more than $500,000, an increase of 34%.”

No shovel, but a sledgehammer used by Governor Bob McDonnell to ‘swing’ into action the Phase II construction. The bricks were made by the inmates to build the former Lorton prison.

      The Phase II Workhouse plans according to Governor McDonnell, “It’s going to create new opportunities for young people to learn and great economic development opportunities that will come not only from the reconstruction, but for the artists that come here to work.”

     Sitting on 55 acres of the former prison grounds of the Lorton Workhouse, some of eight total buildings and facilities to be renovated during the Phase II expansion are: Conference & Event Center/W-1: Built in 1930, the 23,000 square foot former dining hall and kitchen facility will be converted with 600 seats for dining and a multi-use conference center. Theatre Building /W-12: Also built in 1930, the 12,000 square foot former assembly hall, which was used as a gymnasium and meeting building, will include new mezzanine seating, dressing areas and a green room in the newly excavated lower level. Children’s Art & Education Center/W-3: A 1925 building, this 7,500 square foot former dormitory, will be converted into several classrooms for programs related to the Visual Arts Classes, Theatre for Young Audiences and Visual Arts Camp.

     For more information, see www.workhousearts.org or call Camela Speer at 703.584.2973 or email camelaspeer@lortonarts.org.

Published by on January 2011. Filed under AAMG Cover Section, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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