Ballet West and Salt Lake County Center for the Arts Break Ground on New Ballet Centre and Capitol Theatre Renovation

On Monday, September, Ballet West and The Salt Lake County Center for the Arts broke ground on the Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre – home to Ballet West and the Ballet West Academy – and the renovation of the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, located at 50 West 200 South in downtown Salt Lake City. The groundbreaking coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Capitol Theatre and Ballet West’s 50th anniversary.

“Today we celebrate a watershed in the history of Ballet West ,” said newly appointed Ballet West Executive Director Scott Altman. “In addition to it being a world class facility for Ballet West, we believe it will become an important anchor in the Salt Lake Cultural Core, attracting new businesses and audience members, and increasing our capacity to service the community.”

“Salt Lake is a thriving metropolitan area, with a rich tapestry of cultural and artistic offerings,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “Thanks to our Utah tradition of partnership and collaboration, Ballet West and Salt Lake County, are revitalizing our much loved Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and bringing a new level of artistic excellence to the region with the Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre.”

Substantial private investments in the project include the Capitol Theatre naming gift from the Janet Quinney Lawson Foundation and the Ballet Centre naming gift from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation. Additional significant donations to the project were generously given by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Emma Eccles Jones Foundation, John and Marcia Price Family Foundation, and Frederick Q. Lawson Foundation, among others. These gifts indicate the community’s express confidence in this project and in Ballet West.

“We are honored to help make Ballet West’s new home a reality,” said Shari Quinney. “This exciting project will enable Ballet West to reach even greater heights in its artistry, its Academy, and its tremendous education and outreach programs – vital efforts that impact children and adults throughout our community.”

The construction work is in two phases; with the renovation work in the Capitol Theatre is currently underway and will be done by November 30, in time for Ballet West’s annual holiday production of “The Nutcracker.” The second phase includes the construction of the new Jessie Eccles Ballet Centre building and lobby expansion and the attachment from the theatre to Ballet West’s administrative offices and Ballet West Academy, slated for completion in October 2014.

“Patrons will be impressed with the Capitol Theatre renovations,” said Philip Jordan, the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts Division Director. “We will have much improved seating, an updated, energy efficient heating and cooling system and an expanded lobby. When the complete project is open, the lobby will nearly double in size and we will have a sizeable increase in public restrooms.”

Ballet West’s Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre will include an increase in the number of rehearsal studios, Academy office space, and technical support areas. The new space will allow the Ballet West Academy to increase their existing programs and enrollment by four-fold and improve the quality of educational programs for pre-professional dancers. The program expansion will support new outreach opportunities, which will help the Company reach a larger audience. The facility also enables Ballet West to bring its wardrobe and costume shop in-house, improving efficiency.

The architect for the project is HKS Architects, Inc. and the contractor is Okland Construction. The Ballet West Capital Campaign is spearheaded by co-chairs Shari and David Quinney.