Performing Arts Studio Leads Development of Arts & Entertainment District
As Part of Glassboro’s Downtown Revitalization
Glassboro, NJ, September 24, 2009 – Glassboro’s repertoire of performing arts offerings have launched a new era as the Let’s Dance Studio began construction on its new performing arts studio, becoming the first new business in the borough’s Arts & Entertainment District and continuing Glassboro’s multi-million dollar downtown revitalization.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for Let’s Dance Studio’s new home were held on site at 111 E. High Street on Thursday, September 24.
The new performing arts studio will more than double the size of Let’s Dance’s former building, which was demolished to make way for Glassboro’s $300 million Rowan Boulevard, a new 26-acre, 100-foot wide corridor stretching a third of a mile from the foot of the Rowan University campus to the center of downtown. While awaiting its new home, Let’s Dance Studio is currently operating a full curriculum of classes at the former St. Bridget’s School, located at 25 West High Street.
“The new Let’s Dance Studio epitomizes the heart and spirit of Glassboro’s revitalization. It not only shows the cooperation and excitement of local businesses who have joined with us to make our revitalization a success, but it is leading the growth of cultural and performing arts we plan for Glassboro,” said Borough Mayor Leo McCabe.
When completed, the new performing arts studio will occupy a 14,160 sq. ft. building, including a 2,160 sq. ft. atrium, and will contain 11 classrooms and suites, a café and a retail store featuring dance apparel and accessories. Currently, Let’s Dance Studio offers dance instruction to more than 350 students in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hoofing, lyrical, Irish step, hip hop, cheer/pom dance and clogging. There also are combination classes, a competition team, several classes in Pulse Fitness, ranging from an aerobic “Boot Camp” and personal training and nutrition, to classes in Zumba, a Latin style of dance and exercise. Students range in age from 2½ through adult and in levels from beginner to professional.
“There is a tremendous interest in the performing arts in our region, and the growth of Rowan University and new housing in and around Glassboro is increasing the demand,” said Kim Bartolomeo, who is co-owner of Let’s Dance Studio with Kathy Woodside. “It’s exciting to help lead the development of an Arts & Entertainment District in our community. We’re just a small part of what can be done when we all work together.”
The original Let’s Dance Studio began in a small Glassboro storefront 24 years ago, with about 35 students. It has grown and evolved in size and stature over the years, now having taught more than 8,000 students, enabling several generations of Glassboro residents to benefit from its dance instruction, and allowing the studio to make a true difference in the Glassboro community as it is today.
The studio recently has brought in certified Special Education Dance Instructors, and will begin offering classes for special needs children this fall. Enrollment at the new studio, which will be completed in June, 2010, is expected to exceed 500 students, and plans are underway to enlarge the curriculum with additional music lessons, voice, karate and drama classes.
“It is especially rewarding to see many of our former students, who are now parents, bringing in their children for dance instruction,” said studio co-owner Kathy Woodside. “The most satisfying experience is to see the smile on the face of a child and the tears on the face of the parents as they watch their child on stage.”
The architect of the new performing arts studio is Robbie Conley Architect, of Woodbury Heights, NJ, and the general contractor is Active Construction, of Sewell, NJ.
“The new facility not only allows Let’s Dance Studio to expand its programs, but the classic design of the building itself will set an example, helping lead the design of other buildings throughout Glassboro’s Arts and Entertainment District,” architect Robbie Conley said.
Glassboro’s new Rowan Boulevard will feature broad tree-lined sidewalks, dozens of stores, restaurants featuring café-style sidewalk dining, residential condos and town homes, Rowan University student housing, a hotel, pedestrian plazas and a town square. Rowan Boulevard, which is being developed by the borough’s master redeveloper, Sora Holdings, of Sewell, NJ, is expected to attract a minimum of 60 new retail stores generating a minimum of $48 million in annual sales when completed in 2012.
While Rowan Boulevard itself contains 26 acres, the entire Glassboro revitalization project encompasses 81 acres and several neighborhoods comprising the borough’s downtown, including its Arts and Entertainment District, a Pedestrian Promenade with a business incubator and restaurants, and the borough’s West High Street neighborhood, which features convenience retail for residents. Overall, Glassboro’s revitalization when fully completed is expected to feature more than 125 new retail stores with the potential of generating $225 million in annual sales and will offer abundant office space, new restaurants, retail and cultural offerings, and hundreds of new town home and condo residences.
For information on Let’s Dance Studio, call (856) 881-5930 or log on to the studio’s website www.letsdancestudio.net. For information on the Rowan Boulevard project, contact Sora Holdings, LLC, at (856) 589-8371 or on the web at www.soraholdings.com.