San Jose Cultural Center Open Again

That’s the building on the plaza that used to have the bright mural
BY: CALEB HOOGLAND

For about the last six months, the cultural center in San Jose, located at the north end of the downtown plaza, has been shut down for major renovations. The project cost $243,000 USD, which seems like a lot since there were very few infrastructural changes made to the building.

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The biggest change was to the roof, which was completely removed and rebuilt. Officials guaranteed us that water won’t be leaking through this one! Other renovations include the construction of a new stage for the indoor amphitheater, refinishing all of the interior and exterior walls, and installing a new restroom that is handicap friendly.

Most of you probably remember the cultural center as the brightly colored building with large murals on the outside. Well, after the remodel there is nothing bright about the building. It now has a white and brown color scheme and a more modern design. They say it’s modern, we say it’s bland. We much preferred the fun murals of people dancing and playing instruments.

The indoor amphitheater now seats about 100 people, which is good considering how many events it’s used for - everything from hurricane awareness classes to theatrical plays. The cultural center was also able to add one more art classroom during the renovations, using the existing space in the building.

This was the first time the center has undergone renovations in its 43 year history. During the renovations, all cultural center operations moved off site while construction crews took the place of the dance and music classes. Since its reopening about a month ago (which was just about three months after the original estimated completion date, on time by local standards), all operations have been moved back to the cultural center.

Those operations include 16 different workshops currently offered at the center. The full list includes: Polynesian, folklore, ballet, hip hop, jazz, salsa and belly dance classes, as well as rhythmic gymnastics, painting and art classes. In addition, singing, guitar, theater, writing, taekwondo and barre fitness classes are offered.

The workshops are offered either free or at low cost to participants. All workshops are geared towards people of all ages, however, the majority of attendees are kids and teens. About 250 local kids attend the workshops regularly. ,