WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – On Wednesday, leadership from the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, The Weitz Company, Leo A Daly and WGI brought the future closer into view when they and supporters officially broke ground on the Center’s $50 million expansion project, Kravis 2020: The Future is Now.
With commemorative shovels and hard hats, officials from the four organizations broke ground and started the official construction ball rolling on the project that will make the Kravis Center experience more enjoyable for those arriving by car, bicycle or on foot. The Kravis Center’s expansion project will enhance the performing arts center experience for patrons by increasing the size of the lobby, creating a pedestrian-friendly plaza opening onto Okeechobee Boulevard, adding a new valet parking garage, adding a new entrance/exit ramp to the existing garage and improving traffic flow on and around the campus.
“Today officially marks the beginning of Kravis 2020: The Future is Now Capital Project,” said Judith Mitchell, CEO for the Kravis Center. “Over the next 22 months, the Kravis Center will begin to transform into an even brighter beacon for Palm Beach County, thanks to the efforts of our Kravis 2020 committee, led by Capital Campaign Chairman and Kravis Center Board Treasurer John Kessler; William Meyer, past Board Chairman and Chairman of the Center’s Operations Committee overseeing the project; and our design and construction teams from The Weitz Company, Leo A Daly and WGI. The Kravis Center welcomes more than 500,000 guests every year, and this expansion will accommodate a growing base of customers with expanded ease of accessibility to enjoy our schedule of performances.”
Also in attendance were Michael Bracci, Kravis Center Board Chairman; James Mitchell, Kravis Center COO and owner’s representative for the project; John Kessler, treasurer of the Kravis Center’s Board of Directors and Kravis 2020 Chairman; Alexander Dreyfoos, Founding Board Chairman; William Meyer, past Kravis Center Board Chairman and Operations Committee Chairman; and Jane Mitchell, immediate past Kravis Center Board Chair and current Board Vice Chair.
The Kravis Center was also joined by Dennis Gallagher, executive vice president and general manager of The Weitz Company, the expansion project’s general contractor; William (Bill) Hanser, AIA, managing principal of Leo A Daly, the project’s architecture, engineering, planning and program management firm; and Brian LaMotte, senior vice president/chief marketing officer of WGI, responsible for the project’s infrastructure design services.
Features of the expansion project include:
The expansion plans coincide with city efforts to make venues along Okeechobee Boulevard easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate. The project is estimated to be completed in February 2020 and will be funded through private and corporate donations as well as grants. No interruptions in the performance schedule are anticipated.
Taking center stage in the expansion project will be: