Anne Marie Dumain
A new complex for VCU’s School of the Arts will soon be housed in the former Richmond Glass Shop building at 814 W. Broad St.
Originally a terminal for the Richmond-Ashland trolley line, the property also includes three buildings facing Marshall and Pine streets. The complex is tentatively called the Depot as a nod to its historic past, said Brian Ohlinger, associate vice president of VCU Facilities Management.
“The Broad Street building will house Kinetic Imaging and a planned retail art gallery for students’ work,” Ohlinger said. “The two larger buildings in the back will house dance studios for Dance and Choreography.”
Ohlinger said a smaller building in the back will be used for storage. The VCU Real Estate Foundation purchased the property for $2.1 million in February 2013. The Foundation funded all of the renovations and VCU is contributing funds for furnishings and any equipment needed for the programs, Ohlinger said. The project’s expected total cost is $5.9 million, bringing the total investment in the Depot to $8 million.
The facility is expected to be completed by January 2014. Ohlinger said the project is on schedule, with demolition finished and work now beginning on the Broad Street building’s facade. TRENT Construction is serving as the general contractor. Commonwealth Architects is handling the design.
“Our expectation is that this project will greatly assist in the rejuvenation of the Broad Street corridor,” Ohlinger said. “Coupled with the new Institute of Contemporary Art that will go at the corner of Broad and Belvidere, it’s a natural extension of the city-designated art district.”