SPAC Awarded $2M to Rehab Bath Houses
Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced that it has been awarded $2,000,000 in funding through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative with a $1,500,000 grant from Empire State Development (ESD) and $500,000 from New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The news was shared by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as part of the 2019 REDC Awards, which granted $761 million in funds throughout New York State.
SPAC’s awarded funds have been allocated to rehabilitate the Roosevelt II Bathhouse, an 18,000 square foot space that has been vacant since the 1980s and mirrors the Roosevelt Baths & Spa, operated by the Gideon Putnam Resort. In collaboration with the Saratoga Spa State Park and as part of SPAC’s mission to establish the venue as a unique international cultural destination, the project will provide a full-functioning year-round creative and maker space where art across multiple disciplines will flourish.
“SPAC’s vision for the future includes an expansion of programming that will include the visual arts, the culinary arts, theater, and health and wellness in cooperation with COESA — in addition to our vibrant performing arts season. This new year-round space will restore a historic Park building that has been abandoned for decades, creating a community hub that will celebrate art in all its forms, while also providing vital learning and rehearsal spaces,” said Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC’s President & CEO. “We are grateful to ESD, NYS Parks, and the REDC for their help in transforming our campus into a beautiful and welcoming Park for the Arts.”
“Governor Cuomo spurred the remarkable transformation of the Roosevelt II Bathhouse beginning with investments to stabilize the long vacant structure over the last few years. We are currently completing the restoration of the grand entry hall and renovations to a portion of the building for COESA to offer health and wellness services this spring. We are thrilled that our long standing partnership with SPAC is growing to include new forms of arts programming in the remainder of the building. We thank our partners SPAC and COESA for leading the efforts to help end decades of abandonment and create a vibrant future for this National Historic Landmark,” said Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of New York State’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Designed to expand opportunities for the community with educational, creative and cultural enrichment programming, the restored building will feature a black box theater, an art gallery, a rehearsal and learning space, and a teaching kitchen that will be operated by SPAC in collaboration with the Saratoga Spa State Park. COESA is slated to utilize 2,700 square feet of the building to provide retreat experiences and classes with offerings that include personal well-being, leadership, meditation, professional wellness training, and work-life balance.
This upcoming renovation follows Governor Cuomo’s announcement of the $9.5 Million visitor services improvement project at SPAC, which is slated to be unveiled in the spring of 2020. These projects follow the 2019 renovation of the amphitheater ramps, made possible by a $1.75 million allocation from NYS Parks. The projects are all part of SPAC’s mission to rejuvenate its physical campus for future generations.
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), located in the historic resort town of Saratoga Springs in upstate New York, is one of America’s most prestigious summer festivals. Its tranquil setting in a 2,400-acre park preserve surrounded by hiking trails, geysers, and natural mineral springs draws vacation crowds and arts connoisseurs each year for immersive experiences of performances by resident companies New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, Opera Saratoga, and concerts by Live Nation. SPAC also hosts the annual Saratoga Wine and Food Festival in addition to imaginative programming such as the popular “SPAC on Stage” series and Caffè Lena @ SPAC.
SPAC is a 501c3 charitable organization. Donations and proceeds from fundraising events benefit the Center’s children’s education programs and support the vibrancy of its classical season. For more information visit spac.org.
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.
After nine rounds of the REDC process, more than $6.9 billion has been awarded to more than 8,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 240,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.