The Road Ahead

The road ahead

One of the things I like about jazz, kid, is I don’t know ..
..what’s going to happen next. Do you?
–Bix Beiderbecke

It is the intent of the project to restore the building to the circa 1950 period using both the United States Green Building Council’s sustainable standard LEED-EB (existing building) and the National Historic Preservation Standards. The project will be subdivided into phases. Phase one will comprise of documentation, deconstruction, relocation and reconstruction of the main building. Phase two consists of the documentation, deconstruction, relocation and reconstruction of all the remaining structures.

There has been strong student involvement from the University of Florida’s M.E. Rinker School of Construction. Students have actively participated in the documentation and deconstruction of the building under the supervision of UF faculty and staff. A preservation consultant has been retained to assist with the process. Additional oversight is provided by the University for the LEED application and implementation.

Beyond the rehabilitation and repurposing of the main building for general community use, there are several possibilities in the pipeline as to what features the Cotton Club will ultimately include. Some of the proposals are

  • Outdoor amphitheatre for performances
  • Park-like setting with fountain and benches beneath the shady oak trees to promote community gathering
  • Shotgun houses become classroom facilities, with one house being kept in period furnishings

Below are some progress pictures of the exterior improvements to the main building.

Northwest

North side

The rehabilitation effort is to take place in three phases:

  • Stabilize main building
  • Rehabilitate surrounding shotgun houses and grocery store
  • Build new structures for additional classroom space

Construction progress

The main building has been closed in with the recent installation of doors and windows, finalizing the work that can be done on the Cotton Club under the current construction permit. At this point, the building has been stabilized at the foundation, the framing is now structurally sound, and the siding has been installed. Once the next permit is received, the remainder of the building can be finished as the appropriate funds become available. Photos of the construction progress can be seen in the picture gallery. To be able to continue renovations, the cotton club board of directors is currently looking to form fundraising partnerships with local businesses and charitable organizations. If you are part of an organization interested in donating money, products or services, or volunteers, please contact us.

Photos of the construction progress can be seen in the picture gallery.