Art Institute in Bastrop ready for construction on Main Street

4 Mar 2020

The empty lot at 921 Main St. in downtown Bastrop was reduced to a bare space in January after contractors demolished the lot’s only standing brick wall in preparation to construct a new building for the Art Institute of Austin.

Now, contractors are working to determine a construction schedule by which the planned two-story, 9,000-square-foot building will be erected.

Last week, the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, which will own the building, approved a contract with an engineering firm for geotechinical services on the site.

“It’s like the person buying a house has to hire a building inspector — it’s a similar process for this,” said BEDC Executive Director Cameron Cox.

The board also approved last week the terms of a construction contract with Sabre Commercial for the full build out of the building. A guaranteed maximum cost of construction has not yet been defined in the contract, although the BEDC board has budgeted $1.8 million for the full project.

The new two-story building, which will include an elevator, will be the future home of the Art Institute of Austin, which announced last year that it would be shuttering its Round Rock campus and relocating to Bastrop.

Both stories of the new building will be leased by the institute for a 10-year period, and the building will be one of three locations the art school will occupy. It will also move into the Lost Pines Art Center where it will have classrooms, studios and an art gallery. Its third location will be at New Republic Studios in western Bastrop County, where the studio will build an 11,000-square-foot building that will house audio recording rooms, lab space, editing rooms, voice over rooms and ancillary space for the institute.

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