LET'S GO — More than 15 volunteers gathered to assist in removing the storefront at the Springville Center for the Arts’ recent 5 East Main St. acquisition. On Dec. 29, volunteers peeled back the decades, as layer after layer was removed, down to the building’s structure. Decorative glass from a renovation of Teddy’s Candy Kitchen was discovered. It was mostly cracked by later renovations, but the remnants were saved, for interior use. At one point, pedestrians could see inside the building, while the entire bottom half was exposed. The renovation design calls for the original historic configuration of the storefront, with cast iron posts and paned glass, to extend halfway up the building. Shoring of the facade is required, before any interior work can begin. Photos courtesy of Seth Wochensky.
SPRINGVILLE — Thanks to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council, the Springville Center for the Arts is well on its way to completing two projects currently underway in Springville, according to SCA Executive Director Seth Wochensky.
On Dec. 19, the REDC announced that the SCA’s recently-acquired property at 5 East Main St. in Springville was awarded $394,810 and the former church building on North Buffalo Street was awarded $434,310.
While the related agencies have been brought under the REDC’s umbrella, consolidating the funding application process, each agency designates funding for something specific. Awarded grants were differentiated, in regard to which local project they were designated for and to what purpose.
THE BARE BONES — Concord Town Historian Dave Batterson is pictured hanging out in front of the building’s open facade, before the temporary enclosure was erected Dec. 29.
Both of the SCA’s buildings will receive historic preservation funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which designates grants for improvements on structures that are on the national register of historic places.
WHAT A GEM — Ed Heary stands on a ladder, showing off an old sign on the front of 5 East Main St., as other volunteers assist in the erection of the building’s temporary enclosure.
According to Wochensky, when the SCA purchased the former Baptist Church on North Buffalo Street in 2007, the building was not on that register. “When we purchased the church, we began the process of registering it,” Wochensky said. The 5 East Main St. building was already listed on the national registry, when the SCA acquired the property.
Wochensky said that, if renovations were not done on the East Main Street building, “a series of buildings would be affected. There were other challenges on Main Street, but that one stood out as a barrier of economic development.”
IS IT SAFE? — Springville Village Board Trustee Alan Chamberlin is pictured helping to secure the front of 5 East Main St. with a temporary enclosure.
The SCA’s two projects were also awarded funding from New York state’s Rural Area Revitalization Program, whose stated goal is to “provide financial and technical resources to New York communities for the restoration and improvement of housing, commercial areas and public/community facilities in rural areas of the state.” The RARP awards grants to not-for-profit, community-based entities that have a “direct interest in improving the health, safety and economic viability of a rural area, or other aspects of the area environment that are related to community preservation or renewal activities.”
Wochensky said that the RARP, which is under the umbrella of the New York State Homes & Community Renewal, is a new grant program that awards funding to organizations for creating “higher-quality, financially-accessible rental spaces. The key is redeveloping spaces,” he added.
This organization deals with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and community area block funds. The village of Springville’s recent Main Street Grant award is also administered by the RARP.
Both SCA projects will also receive Empire State Development funds, which must be utilized for the creation of new jobs. “We will have to track and report to them our job figures,” Wochensky said, “staying in line with their proposal.” Empire State Development is New York state’s economic development agency.
FOR THE CAUSE — Cold weather and blowing snow did not deter the more than 15 volunteers who turned out Dec. 29 to assist with the erection of a temporary, front facade at the currently-distressed 5 East Main St. in Springville.
The 5 East Main St. building was the sole local recipient of a green grant by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation. This grant was awarded to assist with the installation of a green roof on the East Main Street building.
Vegetation will be grown on the roof, providing insulation to the building and reducing storm water runoff. Gray water, collected from inside the building once the SCA’s Art’s Cafe is completed, will be utilized to irrigate the greenery.
While Wochensky said that green roofs have existed for many years, “there has been a rebirth of this technology.” The Art’s Cafe’s roof will be publicly-accessible, including seating and gardening beds, with vegetation and flowers.
“We want to stress the educational aspect of this,” Wochensky said, “to show this technology to the public. It will be a neat space.”
More information about these and other grants will be published in future editions of the Springville Journal.