- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—In June, owners of the Centralia Ballet Academy announced their goal to purchase a downtown Centralia property to move their studio to, but after a change of plans, the company will be moving elsewhere instead.

Originally Mick and Nancy Gunter wanted to purchase a building located at 109 N. Tower Ave. in Centralia, across from the Olympic Club. The building is the oldest one standing in downtown and was built in 1892.

After being unable to secure the building, the owners will now move the studio to the Bethel Downtown Centralia Church Building.

The Gunters said the academy had reached an agreement with the newly founded School of the Arts, which will reside in the Bethel building. The couple will lease the building and work in partnership with the school as the resident dance school.

“This is a huge opportunity for CBA and we are excited to be a part of this exciting new program,” the Gunters said in an email.

The area will provide the academy with more space and will consist of two studio spaces, one of which is larger than the old studio. A dressing space, waiting areas, office and storage space will also be available.

A receptionist will be on hand to help students of the Centralia Ballet Academy and the School of the Arts during after school hours.

A small theater located in the middle of the building will provide an option for smaller performances to be held after it is renovated.

“We will also be in close proximity to voice, instrumental and drama teachers, which may allow for collaborations and could also be convenient for students wishing to take dance and other arts classes,” said the email.

The philosophies and curriculum of the academy will remain unchanged, but the new space will allow the company to offer more to its students.

The Centralia Ballet Academy will be at a temporary location for rehearsals the rest of the summer at 416 N. Tower Ave. in Centralia at the Hub City Mission, across the street from the Bethel church. The space will be located upstairs and provides an opportunity for renovations to be completed this fall.

The academy’s fall classes will start Sept. 14 and the 2015-16 schedule is being finalized.

The dance academy started six years ago with about 15 students, and has grown in recent years to approximately 80 students.


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