“The second floor on the west end of the DFAC facilities is over the new administration area and features several, dedicated studios complete with equipment components and custom ventilation,” said Collman.
According to Collman, the new jewelry studio includes ½ inch sports flooring to cut the noise of hammering that takes place in working metals. The use of acetylene torches required an air balance system with an exhaust hood and fresh air intake.
A fiber studio includes a washer and dryer, work tables and other specialized equipment for working with dyes, textiles, papers and other media. This room also has an air balance system to control airborne fibers.
A multi-purpose studio / meeting space can provide flexible spaces. The second floor also includes small gallery spaces and a casual lounge area at the elevator. North light is utilized and filters down to the first floor at an open balcony area. But Collman says one large space has been set aside for something new.
“The scope of the program at DFAC expanded more than anticipated,” said Collman, “necessitating a larger space for a future project. Utilizing advice from a nationally recognized chef, a culinary studio is laid out to include multiple workspaces for food prep to offer “hands on” experiences taught by experts from the industry.”
“The Art Center has grown from the grass roots and continues to do so today. I started working for Fasnacht and Schultz as a draftsman in 1968. We started designing the first building for DFAC in 1969. There have been five expansions since then and I have been proud to be at the heart of every one of them, this time with SDG Architecture. In 1991, with then Executive Director Nancy McIntyre, Richard and Susan Gehring and others, we developed the Master Plan for the five acres allotted to DFAC by the City of Dunedin. That is when we had the vision for the two-story building and set up the grid leading to the 2016 expansion completion. That’s pretty significant long term visioning on the part of some very dedicated people."
Led by DFAC Executive Director GeorgeAnn Bissett and the Board of Directors, Creative Visions 2014 was a $5 million-plus fundraising project. $1.3 million completed the construction of the second story. Next came the framing out of the walls and rooms, building an elevator and finishing and equipping twelve purpose-built art studios. The State of Florida gave $1 million in a phased grant and the City of Dunedin gave $500,000. The remaining $3.7 million came from private donations. DFAC has grown to 44,000 square feet today.
J. Kokolakis Contracting, Inc. of Tarpon Springs, Florida, was the contractor for the project.