Steel Yard holds groundbreaking, on target to finish $2.7M project by Oct.

WHEN ITS COMPLETE, the $2.7 million
WHEN ITS COMPLETE, the $2.7 million "Super Studio" project will allow The Steel Yard to offer multipurpose community space year-round. / COURTESY STEEL YARD

PROVIDENCE – The nonprofit industrial arts organization The Steel Yard held an official groundbreaking Thursday for its $2.7 million “Super Studio” project at its Sims Avenue headquarters.

The extensive renovation includes updates to the heat, ventilation and electrical systems and will integrate solar power. The project will also create a multipurpose community space that will be open year-round.

Providence-based KITE Architects Inc. designed the project.

Steel Yard officials said this week the project is already nearly 50% complete, and they hope to reopen in July, with the entire project completed in time for the annual Iron Pour on Oct. 19, a display that involves thousands of pounds of luminous, molten iron. The popular event includes fire dancers, live music and food trucks.

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Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and City Council President Sabina Matos were among the dignitaries who attended the groundbreaking on Thursday.

“These renovations are what our community has been asking for,” said Howie Sneider, Steel Yard executive director. “Our donors have stepped up on every level, allowing the Steel Yard to be open year round and provide more access to the tools and community of the industrial arts. In a few short weeks we’ll be open so we can continue to teach and train and hire artists working at every level of their careers. Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to the campaign and has pledged to continue their support while we embark on this next chapter of opportunity.”