Community members clad in hard hats with shovels in hand lifted up dirt on the site of the future Lost Pines Art Center and Reflective Sculpture Garden Monday morning, marking the groundbreaking of the long-awaited project.
“It’s a great honor for us that you cared, that you believed we could achieve this,” project director Karol Rice said to those gathered for the event at 1204 Chestnut Street.
Over the past five years, the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild — recently renamed the Lost Pines Art League — has raised $3.5 million to fund the planned 14,000 square foot facility Rice and Jeanette Condray, finance director, have spearheaded the feat.
At least 60 people congregated on the 1.25-acre property Monday to celebrate the symbolic start to the construction of the center, which will include a large art gallery, leaseable studios for local artists, classrooms and a small amphitheater.
Bastrop city officials, members of the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, members of the Lost Pines Art League, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative staff and representatives from project contractor Big-D Construction alternated turning dirt for photos at the event.
The Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, Bastrop and Bluebonnet were large donors for the art center project.
State Rep. John Cyrier (HD-17) mingled with attendees at the event, even posing for a few photos himself.
The city is currently reviewing permits for the art center project, Rice said. But she said she is hopeful actual construction will begin within the month.
The art center and sculpture garden are set to open in January 2017.
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