The Gilchrist Learning Center Project is Underway

The newest outlet for art education in Sioux City will start welcoming community members this fall. Take a drive down Pierce Street in Sioux City, and you can see construction for the Sioux City Art Center’s new Gilchrist Learning Center is currently well underway. The $2.6 million, standalone facility is slated to be complete by October 2018.

The new Gilchrist Learning Center honors the Gilchrist Foundation, which provided a $1 million naming gift for the project. The goal of the project is to increase the Art Center’s education programs. PLaN Architecture designed the 11,000-square-foot Learning Center. It will feature a classroom, four studios, a ceramics area and pin-up spaces for artwork. The project also includes improvements to parking areas and landscaping near the complex. Construction began at the corner of Third and Pierce streets in the fall of 2017.

The new facility will not only expand the number of classes and workshops the Art Center can offer, but it will also expand the hours its programs will be available to the public. Plus, the center will enhance the Art Center’s ongoing collaboration with the Sioux City Community Schools. 

The Learning Center facility is just the first phase of the Art Center’s plan to increase access to art and education in Siouxland. The second phase is the renovation of the existing Art Center facility, which will increase access and enhance security to its growing Permanent Collection. In addition, the transformation will include a space dedicated to the Art Center’s research library, as well as an updating of the family-focused Junior League Hands-on! Gallery. 

In addition to the naming gift from the Gilchrist Foundation, support for the project has come from more than 300 individual donations, including major support from Enhance Iowa, the Gardner Foundation, and the Gleeson, Chesterman and Persinger families.

The Gilchrist Foundation was established by Jocelyn Gilchrist in December 1998 to honor her family and further their interests. The Sioux City-based foundation has provided support for numerous non-profit organizations in the community and has been a significant underwriter of special Art Center projects for more than ten years. 

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