Built in the early 1900s, the old Fairmont Firehouse is a historic building, but after receiving a grant last March, city officials and Main Street Fairmont have a vision to bring a creative spark to the property.
"Essentially, it was the center of all city services. When it was originally built, it held fire, police, water department, the city clerk, municipal court...everyone that does city functions was located in this building," said Katherine Wyrosdick, director of planning and development for the city of Fairmont.
Then one-by-one, all of its occupants relocated, for one reason or another. But the last few years have shined a new light on the building, thanks to, in part, the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
"This building has been used as part of that festival. It has been seen by many as a potential opportunity to promote arts and festivals and events," said Wyrosdick.
And the city plans to keep that creative element alive, thanks to a technical assistance grant to Main Street Fairmont from the Brownfields Assistance Center, as part of its redevelopment collaborative initiative.
"What that grant did is it brought a team of people to Main Street and to the city to work with us to help define what the reuse strategy for this building should be. Artists who are visual and fine arts, performing arts, are interested in this space for musical studios, for artist studios, for the performing arts, for stage. We actually had some videographers who were interested," said Wyrosdick.
And the good news kept coming.
"The site is now eligible for a second round of funding from the Brownfields Assistance Center called Fast Track, and the Fast Track is going to bring us some technical assistance to figure out how we pay for all of that," said Wyrosdick.
The city says it plans to line up tenants as crews work on the first renovation project: repairing the roof.
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