Metropolitan Ballet Theatre moving to Gaithersburg -- Gazette.Net


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The Metropolitan Ballet Theatre is relocating to Gaithersburg, thanks to funding assistance from the city.

The nonprofit organization is moving out of the Travilah Square Shopping Center on Darnestown Road in Rockville, which will be partially demolished to make room for a Walgreens store. Its new location will be at 220 Perry Parkway, which is currently an office building.

The organization accepts all students, said Paula Ross, Metropolitan Ballet Theatre’s director of development and marketing.

“We accept anybody, regardless of age, size, shape, financial means,” she said.

The Metropolitan Ballet Theatre received a $15,700 matching grant from the city of Gaithersburg to help build out the new space. It will leave its former 2,400- square-foot location for the 7,700-square-foot Gaithersburg location, where it will have studios, study space for students and a performance theater.

Ross said the organization is seeking to partner with the city to provide services to underserved youth and seniors, but the programs they will offer have not yet been determined.

Gaithersburg Economic Development Director Tom Lonergan said the city’s investment helps “enhance the city’s cultural landscape” by bringing in a well-regarded arts organization. The Metropolitan Ballet Theatre’s move to Perry Parkway will help improve a block of long-vacant space in the city, he said.

The Metropolitan Ballet Theatre hopes to double in size in the years after the move. The organization currently has 300 students, Ross said, but many classes for younger students are waitlisted because the current location doesn’t have enough space.

Construction will be completed at the new Gaithersburg location by April 1, Ross said. Preview classes and demonstrations will be held at the new studio next spring, and the first full session of classes will begin next summer.

According to Ross, the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre’s lease at its Rockville location ends next summer. Linowes and Blocher attorney Erin Girard, who is representing Walgreen’s, said the Travilah Square demolition will not take place until 2015.

scarignan@gazette.net