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SFB stretches out. (News).

Creative financing will remain paramount for dance companies in the coming decade, and the most successful will find ever more innovative solutions. The San Francisco Ballet, in order to meet its administrative, educational, and artistic needs for the future, will reap $20 million through tax-exempt 501(c)(3) state bonds issued in July by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank on behalf of the San Francisco Ballet Association.

The bond issue will fund a three-phase project to construct a new, state-of-the-art dance center on the ballet association site at 455 Franklin Street, in San Francisco's Civic Center district. The organization's plans, according to Executive Director Glenn McCoy, include a four-story, 12,500-foot annex to the twenty-year-old structure; the reconditioning of existing dance studios, plus an addition of a new, ninth studio; the refurbishment of artist and student spaces; the overhaul of building systems; and the construction of two, full-length ballet productions.

Those productions, the third phase in the project, will be a new Nutcracker, choreographed by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson and scheduled for unveiling in December 2004; and an evening-length version of the nineteenth-century classic Sylvia, choreographed by Mark Morris, who is a frequent visitor to SFB. The company has budgeted $3.5 million to cover the physical production costs for new works, including those two ballets and perhaps others. Designers will be announced later.

Phase One, said McCoy, involves upgrading the building's heating and ventilation systems and installing air-conditioning. That phase is near completion. Prototypes of new studio floors have already been laid. McCoy was most enthusiastic about the addition of a dance wellness center, which "will consolidate Pilates and massage facilities and cardiovascular equipment." Lockers for the dancers are also a pressing need.

McCoy said that the timetable for Phase Two consists of starting construction next spring and finishing it by March 2004. "We will work around school and performance schedules," says McCoy. With more than 300 students participating in thirty-eight weeks of formal training annually; the SFB School is the largest professional ballet school in the Western United States.

The association has three years to spend the money. The payments on the bond issue will be amortized over a thirty-year period, at a variable interest rate (which is currently 1.1 percent). "The beauty of this arrangement," said J. Mark Jenkins, SFB's director of finance, "is that we have the cash in hand before we start."
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Title Annotation:San Francisco Ballet refurbishes
Author:Ulrich, Allan
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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