LAWRENCE, March 31– The Lawrence Arts Center has closed on purchasing the former Salvation Army building at 946 New Hampshire Street.
This purchase is the Arts Center’s first real estate acquisition, securing the green space between its city-contracted occupancy at 940 New Hampshire Street and 946 New Hampshire Street.
“Outdoor activities are a vital element of learning for the Arts Center’s early childhood education program,” said Margaret Morris, Arts Center CEO. “Without this purchase, we would have risked losing our green space, which would have also impacted the community and surrounding neighborhood.”
The City of Lawrence’s Arts Commons Tax Increment Fund (TIF) agreement, financing and generous donors funded the purchase. At the same time, the Arts Center’s Board was crucial in the transaction and is assembling a team of local experts to conduct a feasibility assessment and determine necessary building repairs.
“We are excited about the opportunity to expand access to the arts in Lawrence and better serve the community in new ways,” said Whitney Lang, Arts Center Board Chair. “The first step is to explore all options for 946 New Hampshire while considering how we use existing spaces as well. The goal is to make the most fiscally responsible decision to benefit the community.”
Feasibility assessments will take place over the next three to five years. Until complete, the Arts Center seeks a renter to occupy the building.
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Lawrence Arts Center CEO
Lawrence Arts Center Board Chair