Springville Center for the Arts (SCA) began the final round of work in their current renovations at the multi-arts center at 37 North Buffalo Street in Springville, and received a $25,000 matching grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation.

The former Baptist Church ,built in 1869, has undergone extensive exterior renovations this past year, including a new roof and masonry repairs. Work on the interior is limited to the South Wing, which  houses the Harold L. Olmsted Gallery, the new Fran Vacanti Classroom, and much larger bathroom facilities. The design calls for a range of upgrades including electric service, insulation and heating along with some significant changes to the feel of the space including a lowered basement floor and a second floor balcony.

“There’s quite a bit of work left in this phase but we’re in the home stretch to where we can operate the gallery again,” said Seth Wochensky, SCA’s executive director. “We suffered some budget increases due to asbestos and other unknown conditions. Overall we’ve done a great job of managing costs, but there is a funding gap and an elevator is one thing we can’t scrimp and save on.”

The organization intends to raise $100,000 toward the project and is over a third of the way toward the goal. The funds from the Oishei Foundation must be matched by charitable contributions, effectively doubling any donations received in the next two months. The John R. Oishei Foundation strives to be a catalyst for change to enhance economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grant making, leadership and network building. The Foundation was established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products Corporation.

Hard Hat tours of both renovation projects, The Arts Center as well as the Center’s project at 5 East Main Street, will be held Saturday, March 14 and Saturday, March 28 at 10 a.m. The tour includes a mix of Springville history, an overview of the design concepts and goals for the buildings as well as a look at the construction in progress and challenges encountered.

Interested parties are encouraged to email or call (716) 592-9038 to reserve a spot. Homemade scones and other refreshments will be provided. Additional dates and times can be scheduled for groups by appointment.

The first event in the renovated gallery is scheduled for May 2 with an exhibition of Inside Richard Stamps: My Big Fat Head.  The show is curated by Ted Pietrzak, former executive director of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center.