BIG ARTS explores options for former theater property

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The property located at 2200 Periwinkle Way, a building long owned by BIG ARTS (Barrier Island Group for the Arts), will be razed this month.

Major structural, safety and code issues and the significant damage caused by Hurricane Ian has made the building, formerly known as BIG ARTS Strauss Theater, uninhabitable.

The structure was also previously known as The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater.

Rene Savarise, chair of the BIG ARTS Board, commented, “After long and diligent analysis, it became clear that trying to renovate the existing building would be cost prohibitive.  The board simply could not approve that use of donor dollars.” 

BIG ARTS Board of Directors and management are plotting a new future for the property and considering a range of possibilities to address community needs that do not duplicate services and programs currently on Sanibel and Captiva. 

“The board’s and my guiding principle will be to make sure that our choice for re-visioning of the property is guided by the needs of the Sanibel and Captiva communities,” said Lee Ellen Harder, BIG ARTS executive director.

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