Pittsburgh Ballet buys Strip District property

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Growth is the buzz word at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre these days.

The company announced Wednesday that it acquired 10,800 square feet of space at 2930 Liberty Ave. in the Strip District as part of a four-phase plan to grow Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School's enrollment and engagement with the community.

The $850,00 purchase will increase PBT's parking and studio space at its headquarters at 2900 Liberty Ave. to more than 60,000 square feet.

"Expanding our physical footprint has been recognized by the board as a strategic objective to grow our reach and impact in the community," board of trustees chairman James E. Crockard III said in a release. The PBT School serves more than 800 students, including children, pre-professionals and adults with a recreational interest in dance.

The land addition marks the start of phase three.

The long-term goal is to add 44 parking spaces to improve the flow and safety of student drop-offs and pick-ups by reducing the need for families to park across the street and cross Liberty Avenue to reach the studio.

PBT also plans to construct an annex building that will accommodate three new studios.

The PBT School expansion plan launched in 2009. Earlier phases have included the installation of new Harlequin floors in the studios and the renovation of the reception area.

In 2009, PBT acquired the Byham House, located in the former rectory of St. John the Baptist Church in Lawrenceville. It is home to 20 full-time students in the PBT School's pre-professional program.

The campaign's complete cost is estimated to run about $10.7 million, of which 42 percent has already been raised.

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Sara Bauknecht: sbauknecht@post-gazette.com.


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