In the past week, many people have asked about our basement renovation plans. In 2016, we will begin an intensive process to re-design the basement of St. Anthony's Church. GS Christopher from TAP and Board Member Alexis Bhagat will be on site on Tuesday, 12/1 to answer questions about the proposed design project. Below is the actual Project Overview, which was submitted to NYSCA. We have received $23,000 from NYSCA for this project. Our December Fundraising Campaign aims to raise our matching funds for ths $49,000 project.
The project will design a 385 sq. ft. stage and 1825 sq. ft. auditorium, as well as a commercial kitchen, media lab and other program rooms in the 4995 sq. ft. basement of St. Anthony’s Church / Grand Street Community Arts. Troy Architectural Project will lead the design, and will facilitate a planning process with GSCA staff and volunteers and community members.
In 2013, GSCA initiated a “Revitalization Campaign” to stabilize and renovate St. Anthony’s Church, beginning with the stained glass Rose Window. The Revitalization Campaign is moving into its third year and the main floor should reopen to the public in 2016. But construction and renovation in the historic Sanctuary will continue for several years. Moreover, the Sanctuary space is extremely expensive to heat and maintain, and has special acoustic properties/problems.
GSCA needs a space for programming during ongoing renovations of the Sanctuary, and the basement is the perfect space for that. And, GSCA staff and leadership urgently need to make strategic decisions around restored programming: TAP’s community design process provides a useful framework for those discussions.
The basement conversion offers GSCA more programming space. The basement is easier to heat, which makes it affordable to use year round and more accessible for community partners. It is acoustically dry, providing a better situation for cinema and amplified music.
Moreover, in the basement there can be new rooms of various sizes–something which is not possible in the Sanctuary space. Rooms with doors, and locks, where electronics and other equipment could be securely installed or stored.