FringeArts under construction, photo by Josh McIlvain

FringeArts under construction, photo by Josh McIlvain

June weather brings Philadelphia’s Delaware River Waterfront alive. Restaurants open for the season, and the masses gather along the piers to enjoy the weather and the views.

While the reawakened piers are bustling under the sun, FringeArts speeds along its construction timeline under the anchorage of the Ben Franklin Bridge at Race Street. The building is expected be completed by early October 2013, and as the scene at the construction site evolves, anticipation for an opening grows across the city.

“We had originally hoped to open in time to program some Festival events in our new building during our 2013 Fringe Festival,” said FringeArts president and producing director Nick Stuccio. “However, we will better serve our artists and audiences by giving ourselves more time to put the polish on the finishing touches before we open the theater.”

Stuccio further noted that due to the success of its capital campaign fundraising efforts, FringeArts has combined what was originally intended to be two phases of construction into one phase. Phase 2 work, including replacing all windows and restoring the building’s exterior façade, is expected to be completed by the beginning of operations in early October. Remaining work, including a bar, restaurant, and an outdoor plaza, is anticipated to be complete by spring 2014.

FringeArts issued a formal announcement of the updated construction schedule earlier this month, and received numerous positive responses. The media and the public praised Stuccio’s vision for the project, and anticipate that the opening will be well worth the wait. The organization attributes the positive response not only to the social, economic, and cultural value of the project, but also to the transparency of its carefully planned and managed press relations.

When the new building begins operations, it is scheduled to feature a full slate of performances (soon to be announced) through December 2013 and beyond. In spring 2014, once the building’s bar, restaurant and outdoor plaza are complete, FringeArts will host an official Grand Opening celebration to showcase the 10,000-square-foot space’s 240-seat performance space, rehearsal and creation studio, permanent Festival hub, outdoor plaza, bar, restaurant, and administrative offices.

FringeArts under construction, photo by Josh McIlvain

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