ArtCenter Manatee gets ready to start construction

ArtCenter Manatee.
ArtCenter Manatee.(ABC7)
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 7:36 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Tons of local artists have been perfecting their craft at ArtCenter Manatee over the last 86 years.

“The friendships I’ve made here over the last 20 years, I still have some of them here.  We call it mental health day because it is so relaxing,” said Barbara, a resident who has been coming to the center for the last 20 years. “I can’t wait until the new building is built.”

The center held their groundbreaking ceremony for the new building earlier this week. ArtCenter Manatee has called downtown Bradenton home for the last 86 years.

The center’s executive director, Carla Nierman, describes it as a great location.

“People have asked us, ‘Why don’t you move to Lakewood Ranch, why don’t you move out to the island?’. Being in Bradenton, we are in the center of those two places, so it is a really good downtown place,” said Nierman.

The new facility will be right next door to the current one, but it will be nearly three times bigger, going from 10,000 square feet now to 28,000 when the Herrig Center for the Arts is completed.

The initial price tag for the building was set at $8 million, but rising construction costs have brought the new total to $15 million.

“We’ve had foundations, business, personal. It’s a well-rounded investment from the community,” said Nierman, describing where most of the funding is coming from.

Official construction for the new building is set to start at the end of the month, and Nierman hopes to have it’s doors open by December of next year.