After being closed for nearly two years, the Waldron Arts Center in Bloomington has reopened its doors to the public and artists. The city says it has completed repair work to stabilize and upgrade the venue, which it took over last year.
The city had planned a reopening ceremony for Friday, but that has been rescheduled and large events are not expected to take place until later in the year due to the pandemic.
Last year, Mayor John Hamilton announced a $515,000 investment to address deferred maintenance on the facility as part of the Recover Forward initiative, which was designed to boost the city’s recovery from the pandemic.
The city says it upgraded the building’s HVAC system to comply with Actors Equity Association requirements, restored windows, completed roof repairs and tuck pointing, upgraded all light fixtures to LED, and repaired water damage throughout the building. The city is currently working to repair the downspout filtration system to prevent future flooding.
“This substantial public investment in the required repairs at the Waldron demonstrates the City’s commitment to the arts in Bloomington,” said Hamilton. “The arts need a public space that they can call home. While the Waldron is not a purpose-built space, it continues to serve our arts community, contribute to our local economy, and improve our community’s quality of life. I’d like to thank the many volunteers and staff that have contributed to reopening The Waldron.”
For the first half of 2022, the Waldron will be managed by the city, which will facilitate programs and exhibitions. The city says it is in negotiations for long-term management of the building starting in July.
The ownership of the Waldron reverted to the city in January 2021 following its use by Ivy Tech Community College since 2010.