$31-million performing arts center progresses in partnership between Aurora Theatre and City of Lawrenceville
Steadfast in their investment and dedication to the region, Aurora Theatre and the City of Lawrenceville today announced construction progress on the highly anticipated Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center (LPAC) – the soon-to-be expanded home of Gwinnett’s only professional theater, Aurora Theatre. Construction and expansion of the facility began in June 2019 and will continue in phases until the scheduled completion in spring 2021, including structural, mechanical and electrical design updates of the four anticipated venues.
Located across the street from the Gwinnett County Historic Courthouse, the new 55,000 square-foot space will house a 525-seat theater; Cabaret; indoor and outdoor civic spaces; and rooms for office and educational programming. The project has resulted in numerous jobs for those deemed essential workers – an unforeseen yet advantageous impact on the local community during these challenging times.
“Art is vital to nourishing community. Its need is even more apparent under the circumstances we are all facing. We are grateful that the construction on the campus expansion never stopped, creating jobs and bringing hope for the future of our county,” said Ann-Carol Pence, Co-Founder of Aurora Theatre. “I sincerely hope this innovative partnership between our non-profit organization and the City of Lawrenceville will serve as a model for other cities across the nation. This city understands that we must invest in the foundation of the arts together, so that the arts truly serve the community in ways that inspire, educate and heal our people.”
Cranes were erected and precast panels arrived to the site in the beginning of May. These deliveries are expected to continue over the next weeks, building out the rest of the buildings including the Main Theatre area. City officials have ensured that the buildings’ infrastructure will retain the architecture of the historic square in downtown Lawrenceville.
This unprecedented partnership between Aurora Theatre and the City of Lawrenceville serves as a model for other city and county governments to partner with arts organizations, which serve as the heartbeat of local communities. Performances at Aurora Theatre are currently suspended temporarily due to coronavirus concerns, but the theater continues to engage with audiences through digital programming alternatives. Aurora Theatre is eager to serve the community with live performing arts again!
Under the artistic leadership of Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Anthony Rodriguez and Ann-Carol Pence, now in its 24th Season, Aurora Theatre produces professional live entertainment to suit everyone’s taste. Aurora Theatre is home to over 850 events each year. Theatrical productions are comprised of the biggest Broadway plays and musicals alongside exciting contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, stand-up comedy, children’s programs, metro Atlanta’s top haunted attraction Lawrenceville Ghost Tours, as well as Atlanta’s only professional Spanish language theatre, Teatro Aurora. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performance venues. Nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, Aurora has FREE attached covered parking and is surrounded by restaurants and shops. Aurora Theatre has garnered numerous accolades highlighted by recent achievements that include a 2016 Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, winner of five 2019 Suzi Bass Awards, Creative Loafing’s “2010 Best Theatre Company,” Georgia Trend Magazine’s “2011 Best Places to Work in Georgia,” Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “2012 Best Places to Work,” Atlanta Magazine’s “Best of Atlanta 2018” for Best Inclusive Programming, Gwinnett Chamber’s 2018 Inaugural Moxie Award for Outstanding Organization, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 President and CEO Award for Excellence in Arts, and Gwinnett Chamber’s 2015 IMPACT Regional Business Award for Hospitality.