Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Clifton arts center work could begin in January

The first phase of renovations at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) could begin as soon as January, CCAC executive director Ruth Dickey said during a lighting ceremony and public auction last Friday.

The first phase would add an elevator, fire suppression system and secured lobby to the historic 1906 Clifton School, making it ADA-compliant and opening up the entire building to arts programming and gallery space.

Currently, only the first floor and portions of the second floor and basement are usable.

"There's lots of exciting forward motion," Dickey said. "We just went out to bid today, and we're finalizing some contracts with the City and the state."

Dickey said that the first phase could be completed by fall 2010.

The extra space is needed as the CCAC continues to expand. Dickey said that the center has seen nearly 10,000 visitors this year.

On September 1, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati became the first resident arts organization and, in 2010, the CCAC plans on offering 31 separate classes – twice what was offered in 2009.

Funds carried over from the first phase would go to upgrade the school's mechanicals and to make interior and exterior improvements, and to restore the nearby McDonald Estate Carriage House, creating three to four artist studios and a ground-floor gathering and gallery space.

Other, smaller improvements already have been made. New fa├žade lighting donated by Architectural Landscape Lighting & Design has been installed on the Clifton Avenue frontage, and volunteers have helped out with painting and restoring the building's hardwood floors.

Three pieces of sculpture have been installed on the grounds and will be on display through May.

Previous reading on BC:
Clifton School named by state as a 'top preservation opportunity' (5/26/09)
'Floodwall' and Everyone's Famous! Blogger Bash (9/23/08)
Qualls pushes $750K for Clifton arts center (9/17/08)
Inside the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (4/10/08)
Volunteers needed to clean Clifton School (1/11/08)