Christmas came early to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). Saratoga Springs’ premier performing arts venue has been awarded $2 million in funding from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, which invests in various regional economic projects. The $2 million will go to revitalize the Roosevelt II Bathhouse, a historic structure near SPAC’s grounds that has sat vacant since the 1980s.
“This new year-round space will restore a historic park building that’s been abandoned for decades, creating a community hub that will celebrate art in all its forms, while also providing vital learning and rehearsal spaces,” says Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC’s president and CEO. That $2 million injection for renovations is divided up into a $1,500,000 grant from Empire State Development and an additional $500,000 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. (Overall, $761 million in funds were awarded throughout New York State as part of the 2019 REDC Awards.)
The funds will go to rehabilitate the 18,000-square-foot Roosevelt II Bathhouse, turning it into a diverse, multi-function center, offering year-round creative and cultural enrichment. Once restored, the old bathhouse will become a unique cultural destination, featuring an art gallery, black box theater, rehearsal/learning space and teaching kitchen managed jointly by SPAC and Saratoga Spa State Park. The world-class performing arts center is also collaborating with COESA, a soon-to-be-opened wellness community that will add health and wellness programming—retreat experiences, meditation, classes and more—to SPAC’s expanded future offerings.
These plans come on the heels of several other ambitious improvement projects at SPAC. Back in October, Governor Cuomo announced a $9.5 million renovation of SPAC’s concessions and restroom facilities (creating a separate, year-round performance and concessions space). Earlier this year, NYS Parks also allocated $1.75 million to upgrade the amphitheater’s ramps.