Archive for Thursday, September 23, 2004

Lumberyard Arts Center project anything but quiet

September 23, 2004

Though there might not appear to be much activity taking place at the Lumberyard Arts Center, the summer has been anything but quiet for the arts center project and its committees.

Sandy Cardens, an arts center steering committee member, said not only has a work day been scheduled for this weekend, much planning and organizing has been done over the past few months in an effort to get construction underway on the former downtown lumberyard.


"Several committees have been meeting regularly to push things along," she said.

Bylaws and regulations for the use of the building are in the process of being ironed out, Cardens said, and the funding committee has been planning several fundraising events, as well as researching and applying for a number of grants.

"We're waiting on the architect for the drawing of the new floor plan so we can take it to the contractors," she said. "And we're getting bids on the things we know we're going to have to get done."

By the time the $500,000 project is completed, the Lumberyard Arts Center will contain two classrooms, an art gallery, an office for the arts center and Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, a catering kitchen and a theater.

"We're going from nothing to something, which is pretty good," she said. "There will be room for improvements, but we're looking to get this started."

Cardens said already a number of organizations have used the building for one purpose or another including meetings, rehearsals and children's activities.

"We've had so many requests to use it," she said.

To get the project to its completed stage, Cardens said, will require a lot of volunteer time, donations and contributions.

So far, about $115,000 has been raised for the arts center project. In addition to seeking donations from community members and businesses, she said, the steering committee has also been researching and writing grants to help with the financing.

Fundraising events have also been planned, including a Blues and Barbecue event set for Oct. 2, which will feature barbecued meats and several performances by local musicians.

A work day has been scheduled for Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. The goal, she said, is to get the building ready for the barbecue fundraising event, as well as Maple Leaf Festival. Cardens said volunteers will be hanging lights and plastic as well as sweeping, mopping, cleaning windows and doing other general cleaning.

Those who would like to assist with the work day are encouraged to bring staple guns, ladders, brooms or other cleaning supplies.

Anyone who would like more information about the work day can call Don Gauthier at 594-3515.

Those who would like to contribute to the Lumberyard Arts Center can e-mail or call Cardens at 594-4261 or Diane Niehoff at 594-3244.

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