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Ice House to receive federal grant

June 17, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS -- U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., will be a welcome guest in town Monday.

Capito will present a $200,000 federal development grant check at 2 p.m. to the Morgan Arts Council for renovations to the Ice House.

Bob Marggraf, chairman of the Ice House building committee, said the funds will be used to complete the infrastructure on the top two floors with mechanical, electrical and plumbing service.

"It will allow us to expand to be the community arts resource center," Marggraf said Wednesday.

The Ice House only operates on the first two floors.

The 40,000-square-foot former storage building on the corner of Independence and Mercer streets was acquired from U.S. Silica in 1996, fundraising committee chairwoman Jeanne Mozier said Wednesday.

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Since then, renovations were made possible through more than $1 million from state and foundation grants, plus donations, to bring it this far, Mozier said.

"We began using the space immediately and have incurred no debt," she said.

The first floor of the Ice House has a great hall/theater for performances, concerts and special events. It has a gallery, two classrooms and the MAC office, she said.

The second floor includes a classroom, movement studio and storage space for costumes.

The plan is to use the third floor for higher-education classrooms. The fourth floor will be used for special events and will have a catering kitchen, she said.

"These also can be rented out," Mozier said.

The arts council began using the space for its theater, offering local performances of musicals and dramas.

MAC then developed the art gallery, which features exhibits by local and regional artists that hang for about six weeks at a time.

The artists' co-op gallery is run by local artists, and displays and sells the works of more than 20 artists.

The MAC has grown to offer a movement studio on the second floor that offers lessons in dance, tai chi and yoga.

Information on the MAC website (www.macicehouse.org) lists available arts programs such as Drama Arts Education, which offers a two-week theater camp for ages 5 to 17, and the Ice House School of Arts that offers a one-week youth art program for ages 6 to 9 and another for ages 9 to 17 in drawing, painting, film and video.

Throughout the year, workshops were available to learn playwriting, papermaking, create informational videos and how to write a song.

When the arts council acquired the Ice House, public meetings were held to develop the space and everybody was interested, Mozier said.

"The programs keep growing because when space becomes available, it's filled," she said.

After Capito's presentation, MAC members will discuss naming opportunities at the structure, according to a press statement.

"We'll announce our first major naming at the event," said Mozier, who manages the naming program. "This method of fundraising allows MAC to thank major donors forever," she said in the news release.

The 32 naming opportunities include naming the Ice House building for $2 million, the Cultural Park (the area between the Ice House and the Morgan County Public Library, which will be landscaped) for $150,000 and areas on all four floors inside the building, such as studios, classrooms and foyers, that range from $5,000 to $150,000.

Except for bathrooms and the MAC office, "every single room in the building has a price and you can name it yourself," Mozier said.

The event will include the recognition of Dr. William Lands and his Morgan County FAST (Forum for Arts, Sciences and Technologies) foundation for a donation of computer equipment to the Ice House, which is used in MAC's video-training program, Mozier said.

The development around the Ice House with two restaurants across the street has helped the Ice House grow, she said.

"All I want is to see it finished in my lifetime," Mozier said.

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