On October 16, 2017, our dancers began classes at our new home at 1169 Washington Street, one block off the Covington Square. Not only does the property offer an entire city block of parking to enable easy and safe access for parents and students, but also great effort was put forth by the family of Dr. William L. Dobbs (Bill, Deborah & Bess) and the Arts Association to retain as many of the original features of the building as possible, giving the desired retro-industrial style:
Interior brick and Miami Stone have been left intact and exposed; original exterior lights were rewired and reinstalled; a ceiling fan bearing the small metal plate of the 1950s Colonial Stores Supermarket has been mounted in the lobby area; concrete floors were kept and simply sealed to tell the story of the past retail life; the storefront was restored with new glass panels; the signboard has been patched and painted; metal grates from the original rear windows have become wall hangings in the lobby and addition areas; and an exterior door was reworked to form the reception desk in the lobby.
Fittingly, the newly renovated and expanded Washington Street facility is called the Dr. William L. Dobbs Center for Performing Arts, or the Dobbs Center, to honor a man who demonstrated such strong community support, especially during his tenure as Covington’s longest-serving mayor. Bess Dobbs said, “My grandfather focused on endeavors to enhance the quality of life in this community. In fact, in 1991, he suggested the idea of forming the Newton County Community Band to T.K. Adams, and in 1993, it became a reality, so my grandfather’s relationship with the Arts Association ran very deep. My family is honored by the naming of this facility after Dr. Dobbs. He would be very pleased and proud to see this former grocery store transformed and given a new life in a way that enhances Covington and Newton County’s profile.”