$5M ‘reinvention’ of Kettering arts center becoming more visible

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

KETTERING — Rosewood Arts Centre has taken another step toward completing its $5 million renovation, hitting the middle of three phases to remake the 57-year-old facility.

Work on the front entrance “was absolute pivotal to the whole design — or I should say — reinvention,” Rosewood Manager Shayna McConville said. Now the parking lot is the latest piece of the project to be finished.

“We really wanted to put a lot of emphasis on accessibility and a much more welcoming experience for our visitors,” McConville added.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The lobby and some studios have opened in recent months, while work on a mural on the building continues, McConville told city officials last week.

Since January, Rosewood has had 2,500 visits to open studios, Kettering Arts Council member Gloria Pugh said.

The second phase includes studios for ceramic, glass, metals, and dance, plus a public meeting room and a multi-use classroom, Kettering records show.

Work to renovate the former elementary school — which has been an arts center for years now — is a multi-year effort that started in September 2021. It is targeted for completion in the summer of 2023, according to the city.

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Earlier this year, Kettering officials increased the projected cost from $4.8 million to about $5 million.

Kettering is funding about $4.8 million for infrastructure improvements, Kettering Parks Recreation & Cultural Arts Director Mary Beth O’Dell said. The Kettering Parks Foundation has raised about $1.22 million from private donations, she added, although it may not be needed for the renovation.

Nine donors have given the parks foundation $25,000 or more, O’Dell said, led by Kettering Health, Lou and Steve Mason and The Schwiewetz Foundation, all contributing $300,000.

The foundation’s public campaign started in August, she added. The goal is to raise $2 million, according to the foundation’s website.

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Foundation donations will go to fund furniture, fixtures and equipment, as well as landscaping and completion of the theater’s interior, O’Dell said.

The theater will have 150 seats, be ADA accessible and feature new sound and lighting systems, she added.

“This will be such a unique spot for us in Kettering,” O’Dell said. “A lot of our bigger performing arts spaces have 400 to 500 seats … It will just hit a perfect niche, not only for Rosewood and our children’s theater and our dance program, but more importantly for the community as a smaller presentation” site.

The theater will be part of the final phase, as will classrooms, and studios for works on paper, painting/drawing, printmaking and artists.

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Rosewood serves more than 80,000 people annually in the Dayton area through a variety of visual and performing arts, according to the city.

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