Cobblestone Arts Center’s new porch hopes to bring enrichment and inclusion to the community. The 1,500 square foot structure, which started in fall 2017, plans to be completed sometime this summer.
Scott Benson, facilities director, and his co-workers are constructing the porch in addition to providing maintenance services for Cobblestone Arts Center. Porch construction had to be put on hold while Benson, Testa and Williamson completed other maintenance around the center, including a bus garage.
As the weather warmed up, construction started again. Builders ran into a little trouble when a bee’s nest was discovered near the porch.
“No one wanted to get rid of them,” Scott Benson said.
Once the bees were gone, for a second time, building could start again.
The whole front of the house is getting a makeover as well. There will be a new front door and an arching window. The original shutters from 1814 when the house was built will be replaced to more durable ones. Scott Benson said they plan to keep the original hardware that holds the shutters open. Create Escape, a Farmington landscaping company, is coming in to spruce up the front of the house.
The porch includes enough space for picnic tables for the Celebrating of the Arts Day program for adults with disabilities to have lunch and enjoy activities outside. The porch has enough room for local musicians to perform entertainment that everyone can enjoy.
Cobblestone Arts Center received a $20,000 grant from the Davenport-Hatch Foundation to buy materials for the porch. This foundation, founded in 1952 in New York, aims to support nonprofits in Greater Rochester. Some aspects the foundation supports are arts, culture, students, social services, education and persons with disabilities.
“This is only the start,” said Lori Benson, executive director of Cobblestone Arts Center.
As it is her mission to bring art to the rural community, Lori Benson employs local professional artists to beautify the space. Along with the new porch comes a new fountain, a sculpture from local sculptor Benji Carr and a mural-type painting along the brick walkway that is wheelchair-accessible, contributed by Kim Bellavia. The porch, landscaping and artwork brings people together, and supports the center’s mission to bring beauty and inclusion to the community.