SCAC breaking ground on new Arts Center

COLUMBIANA – Members of the community are invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the its new location, the Shelby County Arts Center, on Thursday, May 31.

The ceremony will be held at the building’s construction site on the grounds of Old Mill Square in Columbiana, which is located on west College Street, at 8:30 a.m. Saxophonist Jerry Robbins will provide live music at the celebration.

Office Manager Sandra Annonio said the opening of the Shelby County Arts Center will fulfill one of the SCAC’s long term goals.

“Since the Shelby County Arts Council opened its doors in 2005, it has always been a dream of ours to have a larger space,” Annonio said.

According to SCAC Executive Director Bruce Andrews, plans for the Shelby County Arts Center have been in the works for “the better part” of three years. He said the new building will be the result of a collaboration between the SCAC, Shelby County and the city of Columbiana.

“A lot of times, people like to talk about government entities not supporting the arts,” Andrews said. “That is not the case in Shelby County. This proves that the government can collaborate with the arts.”

According to Annonio, the SCAC chose to keep its new location in Columbiana because of its close ties to the city and county.

“The county seat is here in Columbiana, and we serve the entire county,” Annonio said. “It’s an easy driving point from all parts of the county.”

So far, Annonio said only the building’s underground plumbing has been worked on. Andrews said phase one of the building’s construction is set to begin soon.

The new SCAC location is expected to plan 30,000-square-feet, and will include an art gallery, the Black Box performance theater, music performance and practice suites, a visual arts teaching studio, a pottery and sculpture studio, a metal arts studio, an art creation courtyard, a 500-seat multi-use venue and an outdoor stage area.

Andrews said the Shelby County Arts Center is set to open in mid-2019, and already has its first event scheduled for August of that year.