Following a construction schedule that had unexpected developments and delays last fall, the Marshall County Arts Commission has been granted a certificate of occupancy for the Children’s Art Center in downtown Benton.
Board member George Milam said the certificate signifies the construction’s completion and allows the commission members access to the building, where they can finalize the list of equipment and furnishings needed to operate the center when it opens early next year. Painting and other indoor finishing activities are already occurring, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, he said.
Meanwhile, on the outside, a project of a different sort is underway. Milam said the parking lot, at 12th Street and Elm, will be paved using the pervious paving method, which allows rainwater to sink beneath the surface, rather than add to the city’s storm water runoff.
The use of pervious paving, a construction process new to this area, “is bringing people into Benton,” he said, “to see how the process is applied.”
Another project underway is a fundraiser to “fill the center.” Supporters of the arts in Marshall County are being asked to “buy” chairs for the building—that is, to make a donation—so that the 250 chairs necessary for center seating can be purchased. Each padded chair costs $40.
Those interested in making a donation can contact Patty Sanders at 270-527-5515 or 270-703-1602, or by sending a check to the Marshall County Arts Commission c/o Patty Sanders, P.O. Box 692, Benton, Ky. 42025.
Although the center is not quite “show ready,” Milam stressed that the group’s planned activities are going on, just not on site. He lauded Benton Elementary School for allowing them to conduct classes there after school.
The theater students are planning a production scheduled for March or April. He said he told Leiren Jackson, a Christian Fellowship School senior who is directing the students, that the production will take place in the new center “even if people have to sit on the floor.”