Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON — Motorists on East 12th Street may have noticed the steel frame of the new Marshall County Arts Commission Children’s Art Center climbing into the air.
“Construction is moving right along,” Vicki Wynn, MCAC public relations director said.
“We’ve poured the foundation and the steel is coming up. We’re excited to see the first sign of progress above the ground.”
Wynn said the pace will increase with the foundation and frame in place.
The next step will be placement of exterior walls. She described the exterior as a blend of brick and steel and the building will have a metal roof.
“So far, the construction process has been very smooth,” Wynn said. “Site preparation went well, and we have not encountered anything unexpected. We’re on schedule at this point.”
The building received a $500,000 community development block grant to fund a portion of construction. One stipulation of the grant was the building needed to open by July 1. Wynn expects the MCAC will meet that target.
George Milam, of the MCAC board of directors, said the building is under contract for $844,000 with Cleaver Construction.
“That’s the full amount for the building itself,” Milam said. “This does not include any furnishings, equipment or anything outside the building, like parking. Our main thrust was to get the building complete. We focused on getting the square footage we needed for our activities. We’ll add more as funds become available.”
Milam said the commission is in full fund raising mode to continue to grow and expand the art center.
Wynn said the next fund raiser will be a silent auction at the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. A highlight item are a pair of University of Kentucky basketball tickets. Between 40 and 50 items are available at the auction. The dinner will be held at Marshall County High School.
The next fundraiser will be the Father-Daughter Princess Ball on Feb. 2 at Kentucky Dam Village.
“Right now, we are working on a schedule of events for fall when we open the new building,” Wynn said. “We’ve had some demand for new classes in media like basket-weaving, knitting and quilting. I know we will be offering several classes in different media for both adults and children.”
The commission is seeking donations, volunteer instructors and input on new programs and classes. For more information, visit www.marshallcountyarts.com.