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Arts Centre funding request wins support of city committee

June 14, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Although The Arts Centre at the intersection of King Street and Maple Avenue downtown is operating, it sometimes is considered an "eyesore" because of its exterior.

Officials from the organization are asking city officials for $50,000 to make some improvements to the "old federal building," as it is known around the city.

Some people have remarked about the exterior of the building and the repairs that could be made with the $50,000 would "send a strong message" that the center is open for business, said Lynn Frye, chairperson of The Arts Centre's building committee.

The work also could increase enthusiasm and interest in the center, Frye said.

Members of the Martinsburg City Council's budget and finance committee agreed during a meeting Wednesday afternoon to recommend that the council fund the request.

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The council will consider the request June 28.

"I think it's an excellent project," said City Councilman Roger Lewis, a member of the budget and finance committee.

City Councilman Max Parkinson said he likes the reasoning behind the request.

The money would be used on work such as restoring and painting the windows, trim and doors on the massive building, replicating the original door on the King Street side and erecting a wooden ramp to allow handicapped people to access the building, Frye said.

The money also would be used to install a toilet on the first floor and install smoke alarms and emergency lighting, Frye said.

It is possible state government will give another $50,000 to the center if the city donates $50,000, Frye said.

The Arts Centre offers classes for adults and children; and displays works of local artists.

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