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The Palm Beach Post



LAKE WORTH — The city’s shuffleboard building is on its way to being the next piece of an emerging arts district on the near west side.

Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to convert the 5,000-square-foot building at 1121 Lucerne Ave. into a community cultural facility where art classes, after-school programs and other events can occur. Commissioners John Szerdi and Christopher McVoy were absent.

Lake Worth’s Community Redevelopment Agency is planning to issue a request for proposals from arts organizations to enumerate the programs they would put on in the building. Nearby are just-built artists’ lofts. A proposal is on the table to bring the Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts, with glass-making and ceramics studios and a metal foundry, all for use by artists. The commissioners are expected to discuss Benzaiten next month.

The city will lease the shuffleboard building to the CRA, which will evaluate proposals by cultural groups. Among those that expressed an interest was the Armory Art Center.

At the same time, the CRA is in the running for a $150,000 state grant to rehab the shuffleboard building, CRA Director Joan Oliva told commissioners. If the CRA is awarded the grant, it will be paired with donated services to raise the building’s ceiling and make it more usable for art-related endeavors.

“It’s the next step,” said Commissioner Andy Amoroso. “After traveling to the schools, I know that they are all looking for after-school art programs.”

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