Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
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Toledo Ballet gets new home

New facility next to Hobby Lobby will be almost 9,000 square feet

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Area dancers and singers will have fresh new spaces in which to learn and grow, thanks to developments at the Toledo Ballet Association and Lourdes University.

For the Toledo Ballet, now in its 75th year, a move westward will bring more space, easier access, and better accommodations for students of dance, drama, voice, and fitness.

Due to open for classes and rehearsals Monday, the new digs at 5327 Monroe St., (next door to Hobby Lobby) will be almost 9,000 square feet. The headquarters will comprise four spacious studios, office and meeting space, an airy lobby and study room, and changing rooms with showers, plus a dedicated workout area.

Centerpiece of the new headquarters will be Studio C, named in honor of company founder, Marie Vogt.

At 32 by 51 feet, it’s the same size as the Stranahan Theater stage, the better to prepare for the annual Nutcracker production, noted executive director Mari Davies.

Developer Bill Bostleman of Devonshire REIT, who spearheaded the project, said the new headquarters represents a $500,000 investment.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the Toledo Ballet,” said Bostleman, whose daughter, Katie, has been a soloist in company productions.

Toledo Ballet has been based in the Franklin Park Mall since 1980, when another developer, James Rouse, invited Vogt to move her company there from Cricket West.

Discussions about moving to a new space began before the current lease was to expire, said Davies, adding “the mall has been very good to us.”

But street level access, more practice and storage space, and greater convenience made this move a practical step forward.

TwoScale, a local design company, is handling interior design and installations.

A public open house is slated for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Further west, Lourdes University is readying its new Canticle Center for use by students studying music and the visual arts.

Housed in the former Sylvania Franciscan Academy, which was closed in June, 2014, the repurposed building at 5335 Silica Dr. is to be dedicated Feb. 27.

The former media center which anchored several classroom wings is now slated to become part art gallery and part performance space, said Mary Arquette, vice president of Institutional Advancement.

One wing will now house the Lourdes art department, bringing together studios and classes previously spread over several buildings on the main campus. A footpath through campus woods connects the new site.

Also moved from main campus to Canticle is the Sophia Counseling Center. For the Lourdes music department, earlier housed inside the Franciscan Center performing arts space, the move represents a net loss of instructional and practice space, said Karen T. Biscay.

Now in the final term of her 31-year tenure, Biscay has built and guided music instruction and performance opportunities at the private institution.

Her campus-community choirs regularly perform free public events and often collaborate with other area music groups.

“She has brought the community to Lourdes,” said Arquette.

Contact Sally Vallongo at svallongo@theblade.com.

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