The City of Lawrenceville, together with partners from design firm Stevens & Wilkinson, unveiled design plans at its May Council meeting for a new $26-million arts and cultural facility right in the heart of the Historic Downtown District. The facility will cover over 50,000 square feet of space including a new 525-seat mainstage theatre, Cabaret theatre, education space for classes and practice rooms, office space and will connect to the existing Aurora Theatre in Downtown. The mainstage, once constructed, will host one of the largest live performing arts stage in the state of Georgia.
This exciting project continues the dynamic transformation of the Downtown area, said Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson. Lawrenceville is the heart of Gwinnett and maintains a central area rich with activity for all generations. This facility will bring the Arts community together with educational opportunities and all the other amenities that our vibrant community has to offer to create a dynamic core for Gwinnett County.
The facility will be constructed on the block surrounded by Pike, Clayton and Crogan Streets with its front entry opening onto Clayton Street across from the Historic Gwinnett County Courthouse Grounds. The Aurora Theatre contracts with the City to manage, operate and craft programming for both its current venue and the future facility being proposed. Aurora Theatre has been noted for its growing economic impact regionally each year with scores of regional and national awards that have elevated it to be the second largest professional performing arts theatre in the State of Georgia.
Anthony Rodriguez, Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Aurora Theatre, shared, Ann-Carol Pence (Co-Founder and Associate Producer) and I believe that cultural arts build a bridge to greater understanding. Every arts organization can boast that their shared vision is supported by their staff, artists, board, volunteers, sponsors, and donors. We are no different. What is revolutionary is that the City of Lawrenceville has provided cultural infrastructure that not only supports this vision, but builds it from the ground up. This is transformative. These partnerships unite our community; they break down cultural and racial barriers. Lawrenceville took a powerful chance on us 12 years ago. For that, we are very grateful. To be on the brink of a campus expansion is beyond what we dreamed. We are thrilled to play the role of a lifetime in the future of our community alongside the City of Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County.
Though the facility is expected to transform the landscape of Downtown, City and County officials are dedicated to retaining the historically intrinsic nature of downtown Lawrencevilles architecture and infrastructure and blending it with a progressive community engagement center.
Charlotte Nash, Gwinnett County Commission Chairman, added, Congratulations to the City of Lawrenceville on another exciting project! As Gwinnett’s county seat, Lawrenceville has a special role in County life and a long history of its own. The revitalization of the City’s Downtown is good for the County, as well as the City. We look forward to watching the new facility take shape just across the street from Gwinnett County’s Historic Courthouse and working with the City to weave together our shared history and dynamic future.
The construction management Request for Proposals has been issued for the project and the City is working with its partners on the selection of the contractor in the next 60 days. The facility is expected to be under construction at the beginning of 2019 and completed by mid-2020. For more information on the City of Lawrenceville, please visit www.lawrencevillega.org.