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The Living Arts and Science Center Breaks Ground on $5 million Renovation and Expansion Project

MEDIA CONTACT:      Heather Lyons, Executive Director
hlyons@lasclex.org (859) 252-5222

Groundbreaking – June 17, 2014                 10 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Living Arts and Science Center Breaks Ground on $5 million Renovation and Expansion Project –

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2014) On Tuesday, June 17, 10 AM, the Living Arts and Science Center (LASC) will break ground on a $5 million renovation and expansion of its facility in Lexington’s historic east end. The project will more than double the existing space and dramatically expand the LASC’s capacity to serve students of all ages in the Lexington community and beyond.

Mayor Jim Gray will speak at the ground breaking ceremony that will also include unique and artful elements presented by LASC students, and comments by 1st District Council Member Chris Ford; Capital Campaign Chair, Harriet Dupree Bradley; Capital Campaign donors, Tom and Susie Bell;  and Executive Director, Heather Lyons.  Special recognition will be made to previous LASC executive directors, Jim Seidelman and Martha K. Henton, whose tenure at the LASC, along with current Executive Director, Heather Lyons, spans the entirety of the LASC’s 45 years of operation.

For decades, the Living Arts and Science Center has been a respected force in creative education for children and adults, schools and organizations, throughout the region. Through dynamic art and science programs, the LASC has fostered exploration and discovery, and inspired creativity and imagination.

Over the past five years, the LASC has expanded its service reach from seven central Kentucky counties to serving schools and libraries in over 30 counties each year, and the field trip programs that bring school groups to the Center has doubled; now reaching 7,500 students annually. It became clear the existing facility would not be adequate in meeting growing programmatic demands.

“When we started the conversation about how to expand our services, we wanted to continue our commitment to the East End – the Center’s home for more than four decades,” said LASC Board President Hannah Huggins. “We launched a capital campaign and designed the facility with De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop and our construction manager Burchfield and Thomas in a way that would meet our programmatic needs, infuse exciting design principles and keep us in the East End.”

The project will include a complete renovation of the historic Kinkead House, which was built in 1847 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kinkead house was donated to the LASC by members of the Kinkead family, direct descendants of George Kinkead, who once served as Abraham Lincoln’s attorney. The renovated space will house a new Children’s Art Gallery and a retail gallery. The current art gallery, classrooms and office spaces will be renovated as well.

The expansion will more than double the LASC’s programming space – currently 7,500 square feet – to more than 18,500 square feet. The new facility will include Lexington’s only planetarium, an expanded hands-on Discovery Exhibit, four new art and science classrooms, a Digital Art Studio, additional art gallery space, a teaching kitchen, a clay studio, additional urban green space, rain and butterfly gardens, and a rooftop garden. The innovative “Glo Gallery” — named in honor of long-time LASC supporter Gloria Singletary – will feature a 15×28 foot glass wall for projections and digital art presentations.

“Inspiring design is critical to the success of a center dedicated to inspiring creativity and discovery,” said Executive Director Heather Lyons. “But our primary goal was to powerfully impact those who visit the Center every day – they are our inspiration. Our new facility will expand the quality and opportunity for thousands of students and families to be personally impacted by their experiences of bring art and science to life.”

The LASC receives over 28,000 visitors each year, not including the programs the Center’s staff takes on the road. The expansion and renovation will double that capacity for more than 50,000 visitors in each of the first two years following construction. For the first time, the LASC will be able to welcome visitors into exhibit space while simultaneously hosting field trips, and the Glo Gallery will be available to public and catered events by utilizing the teaching kitchen space.

Transformational projects like this do not happen in a vacuum. The LASC’s multi-year Imagine This capital campaign has attracted a diverse group of donors and grant providers. The new structure, the Lucille Caudill Little Discovery Center, is named for Lucille Caudill Little who was a founder of the organization in 1968. Her namesake foundation provided a $1 million matching grant to launch the capital campaign. Mr. Will Farish extended his legacy of generosity with an additional contribution of $1,000,000.  These donors are joined by Mr. Joe Craft who donated $500,000, Jim Kenan who contributed $200,000, Tom and Susie Bell who contributed $128,000, and Tom Dupree, Sr. who contributed $100,000 to support this project.  The LFUCG has also supported this project through UDAG funds and other grant support.

“We are deeply grateful for the considerable support we have received from several partners in this visionary project for the Living Arts and Science Center,” said Capital Campaign Chairperson, Harriet Dupree Bradley. “There is more work to do; we have raised nearly $4.3 million thus far, and the remainder of our $5 million campaign will focus on fulfilling the potential of the facility through our acquisition of educational technology, furnishings, and equipment for classrooms and exhibit spaces.   Further, we are expanding our endowment fund to support scholarships and aid for students and families eager to participate in the LASC’s programs and workshops.”

The expansion and renovation is scheduled to take 12-14 months and will be completed in the late summer 2015. Programming, workshops and exhibitions will not be dramatically impacted during the construction process and the LASC will remain open.

Now celebrating its 45th year, the Living Arts and Science Center (LASC) is a not-for-profit organization that serves over 40,000 children and adults through creative and unique opportunities for exploration and education in the arts and sciences.  The LASC provides art and science galleries, field trip programs, professional development for teachers, in-school and after-school programs, and arts and science classes and workshops year-round for children and adults of all ages. In addition the Living Arts and Science Center partners with community agencies and organizations to provide free programs and services to at-risk, special needs and underserved children and adults.

Visit www.lasclex.org to learn more about the LASC’s impact on children and families throughout Kentucky.

To learn more about the Imagine This Capital Campaign and how you can get involved, please contact Andrea Ooten, Development Director, aooten@lasclex.org.

LASC extends learning at Russell Cave

Check out this great article by Fayette County Public Schools about one of the many programs that the LASC provides.

Living Arts and Science Center receives $1,000,000 grant from W. Paul & Lucille Caudill Little Foundation

The Board of Directors of the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation has awarded the Living Arts and Science Center (LASC) a $1,000,000 matching grant towards the Center’s soon to be announced $5,000,000 capital campaign. This is the first major gift to the LASC’s IMAGINE THIS campaign which will have its public announcement and kickoff in fall 2011.

“We are honored that the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation has taken a leadership role in providing the first major gift in our capital campaign. The foundation’s commitment to match $1,000,000 of other funds raised, presents an ideal opportunity for the community to join with them in supporting lasting and creative education for our children. Given Mrs. Little’s relationship to the LASC, this generous gift provides a very meaningful start to our expansion and renovation plans that will enhance the LASC as well as the community,” said Heather Lyons, Executive Director of the Living Arts and Science Center.

Mrs. Little was one of the original founders of the Living Arts & Science Center in 1968 and was instrumental in its operations and programming throughout its early years. She also continued her financial support of the Center while living and in a bequest in the five years following her death in 2002.

“Mrs. Lucille Little’s legacy of support for our arts organizations as evidenced by this gift to the Living Arts and Science Center and others ensures a strong future for arts programming throughout the region. Throughout her life, and through the foundation she created, she has significantly impacted the long-term future and vitality of arts,” explained Jim Clark, President and CEO of LexArts.

The Living Arts & Science Center’s capital campaign funds will be used for the renovation of the current facility, the Kinkead House, built in 1847 and donated to the Living Arts & Science Center by the Kinkead family in 1981. Plans also include the enhancement of the 1.5 acre grounds to include a new classroom and exhibition building, and outside features such as educational gardens and an amphitheatre. The internationally recognized DeLeon and Primmer Architecture Workshop, Louisville, were selected as the architects for the project.

Tom Eblen: Living Arts & Science Center plans $5 million expansion project

Read the full story here. To read more about the project and to see the full design book visit the Imagine This page

Stevie Moore, and LASC teacher, helps enliven scenes from novels with large scale murals

Read the full story here

A Game Changer: Living Arts and Science Center addition would double space, a story from Business Lexington

Read the full story here. To read more about the project and to see the full design book visit the Imagine This page

www.iiethai.org/web/profile_del.php