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City receives $80,000 grant for art gallery, loft

February 21, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, or DHCD, will provide $80,000 for a project in Hagerstown to renovate a building in the Arts & Entertainment District for use as an artists loft and gallery.

The grant was among about $3.9 million in Community Legacy Program awards to 35 municipalities and community groups across Maryland for revitalization projects.

Five projects in Western Maryland were selected, including one in the City of Hagerstown, DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner said in a news release.

The funds will go toward the renovation of a mixed-use building in Hagerstown’s Arts & Entertainment District at 36-40 N. Potomac St. to create artist lofts and a gallery, city spokeswoman Erin Wolfe said.

“It’s going to be a big help toward completing the overall project,” Wolfe said of the grant.

The main level of the building will be renovated to build gallery space while the upstairs will be turned into apartments for live-in artists, Wolfe said.

The Hagerstown City Council unanimously approved renovations to the facade of the property at its Jan. 31 meeting. The work is to be completed by Modern Construction Services Inc. of Street, Md., at a cost of $71,200, according to city documents.

The facade improvements will be completed this spring, Wolfe said.

A total of $290,000 was awarded to the five projects in Western Maryland, including two in Allegany County and two in Garrett County. Those projects include facade improvements and the installation of historical signage, Skinner said.

The Community Legacy Program aids essential revitalization projects that expand neighborhood business and job development, homeownership investment, commercial revitalization and other activities that support Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Smart Green & Growing initiative, Skinner said.

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Editor's note: This story was edited Feb. 21, 2012, to correct a source's error that gave the wrong address for the building in the Arts and Entertainment District.

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