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Pullen Park Arts Center to undergo renovations

Pullen Park Arts Center has been a centerpiece of the Raleigh arts scene for decades

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Pullen Park Arts Center has been a centerpiece of the Raleigh arts scene for decades. The art center—built in 1961—has started to show wear and tear. Now, the city wants to give the center and surrounding land a major makeover.

With limited space and plumbing and electrical work needed, the city plans to make the center suitable for the next 50 years.

“Right now we have 10 people in a class, and it’s a very tight space for 10 people,” said Betty McKim, who has been teaching art for 20 years. “We are definitely squeezed for space.”

The city said it plans to spend $6 million on renovations, which comes from the park’s bond, approved by residents in 2014

Project manager James Marapoti is tasked with overseeing the center’s renovation. He said it the renovation will encompass the outdoor plaza and surrounding land.

“There’s three options—renovate the existing footprint, renovate and expand, or build new,” Marapoti said.

​The center will likely start relocating classes to other spaces next year so construction can begin in the summer of 2016. Officials said the project is expected to take more than three years.

There is a public meeting regarding the renovations scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday night at the park theater.



Julia Sims, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Jon Stout, Web Editor

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