The City of Fairmont is closer to moving forward on a downtown historic preservation project which officials hope will attract creative people and additional activity. Fairmont City Council officially accepted a State Historic Preservation Grant this week and filed a related covenant restricting how the building – the old city firehouse – can be used. The grant of nearly $50,000 will be matched by the city and will help pay for a new roof on the building.
The plan is to turn the building into space for artists to create and teach.
Kathy Wyrosdick is Fairmont’s Director of Planning and Development. She says now that the grant has been formally accepted, final preparations are underway to put the project out for bid. She hopes the bid can be awarded and the roof replaced before the end of the year and before winter hits.
The downtown community is excited about the project. Kate Greene, Executive Director of Main Street Fairmont, says the project has already been a catalyst for a lot of collaboration.
“So many things follow the creative class,” says Greene. “And I think once we can get that kind of programming in our community through non-profit means - it’ll be in a public private collaboration…and once we can get those types of programming available in our community I think that we’ll start to see a significant change there.”