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Friday, October 22, 2021

Reilly Arts Center announces massive $4 million expansion project

The Reilly Arts Center is gearing up for construction to begin in the next 60 days on its much-anticipated expansion project.

Reilly Arts Center
The Reilly Arts Center

The announcement was made Tuesday at the Reilly’s annual meeting, which was held via Zoom. The board of directors voted to move ahead with a $4 million, 15,590-square-foot expansion of the current facility. Project highlights include:

  • A Second Theatre: The Reilly’s new Black Box Theatre is a flexible, flat floor space that can be transformed day-to-day to accommodate the creation of an intimate jazz or stand-up comedy club, theatre in the round, special dance and multi-media events, and standing-room pop and rock concerts. It will be capable of hosting banquets, receptions, special speakers and presenters, and community events in seated or standing capacities. The facility includes an expanded catering kitchen to accommodate such events.
  • Expanded Lobby: A new lobby expansion that will accommodate more guests and provide more than twice the additional restrooms and concession areas – a common request from patrons over the past five years.
  • Teaching Facilities: A large rehearsal room and multiple studio and lesson rooms are included to accommodate new music and performing arts teaching from Ocala Symphony Orchestra musicians and other arts professionals from Central Florida.
  • Expanded Box Office Facilities: A dedicated box office area that can accommodate guests from both inside and outside the facility.

KP Studio Architects created the design and architecture of the new space and after a competitive bid process, Dinkins Construction was selected by the Reilly Arts Center board of directors to complete the construction of the project.

Members of the board said they were excited to announce the project at a time when the entertainment industry is transitioning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thanks to our patrons and the careful planning and groundwork that began more than two years ago by our board and staff, there is no time like the present to get this project underway and out of the ground,” said Matthew Wardell, CEO of the Reilly Arts Center and an Ocala City Councilman. “We’re going to take advantage of the COVID-19 mandated downtime we currently have and build something so phenomenal that it will be hard to imagine our facility as it was. We’ll be able to do more diverse programming, bring enhancements in arts education that our community has never seen before, and come out of this pandemic squarely looking forward to a very bright future for the arts in Ocala.”

To date, the Reilly has raised nearly $1.9 million for the project and will balance the remaining funding needs with future fundraising and financing. There are several significant naming opportunities available. To learn more about these opportunities and how to contribute contact Pamela Calero Wardell, executive director, at [email protected].