By Nancy Black
The Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center (FOTBHCC) held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, May 26 to welcome the beginning of interior and exterior renovations. With a projected budget of $1.5 million, design consultants ArchiTexas, and contractors from Nedderman and Associates will update and improve Dallas’ very first cultural center.
Dallas City Council Member Paula Blackmon (District 9; pictured above with the gold shovel) and Project Manager for the City of Dallas, architect Martha Welch, joined Bath House Manager Marty Van Kleeck, FOTBHCC board members past and present, as well as local officials and construction crew members for the historic, gold shovel event.
The renovations to the 90-year-old building will include restroom updates to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, exterior construction to improve lakefront site grading and prevent flooding, and building a new basement-level stage for performances.
According the Bath House’s website, the Cultural Center “houses a 116-seat theater, two gallery spaces, the White Rock Lake Museum, and a number of multipurpose spaces. Diversity flourishes as visual and performing artists from an array of backgrounds find a welcoming venue for their work. The center’s energetic atmosphere and programming creates a hotbed for the nurturing of new work, and an exciting place where artists and audiences meet to explore and enjoy the life force that is the arts.”
The project is made possible by the City’s Office of Art & Culture through Prop F, which was approved by voters in 2017 to rehabilitate nine of the city’s cultural and performing arts facilities. The expected completion date for the renovations of the Bath House Cultural Center is November 2020.