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BELLEVUE, WA-Pacific Northwest Ballet is expanding its Eastside presence. The 30-year-old institution kicked off its $5 million capital expansion campaign in May and has publicly displayed plans for the new facility, which will be five times larger than the current 5,000-sf school.

“We have always considered a presence on the Eastside vital to PNB’s mission, whether it be through education or performance,” says Francia Russell, PNB artistic director and director of the school. “Now we have an opportunity to expand our role on the Eastside and to live up to our name by serving a larger constituency in the Pacific Northwest.”

The need for a larger facility on the Eastside prompted the PNB staff and Board of Trustees to begin researching building sites several years ago. The selected site at 13440 NE 16th Street in Bellevue, formerly a Gold’s Gym, was chosen for its size, convenience for Eastside commuters, parking availability, and accessibility to local stores and services. The school will primarily serve students from Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Sammamish, Issaquah and Pierce County.

The Eastside School is being designed by Gordon K. Walker, architect of PNB’s state-of-the-art facility in Seattle, The Phelps Center, and renovated by Sellen Construction. It will feature four dance studios with cathedral ceilings, resilient floors to prevent injury, built-in barres and optically correct mirrors. A lounge area with sofas, chairs, tables and Internet access will accommodate parents while they wait for their children.

The school is slated for completion in three months.

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