When the Third District police station—located at 801 Sligo Ave.—vacates next year, East Silver Spring residents are advocating that an arts center should take the station's place instead of a new housing project.
The station will be relocating closer to the Colesville area near the intersection of Colesville Road and New Hampshire Avenue.
In 2009, the police station’s move was announced and shortly after Karen Roper, an East Silver Spring Civic Association board member, started her campaign for a community space that would be useful for artists, according a Greater Washington report.
The Gateway Arts Center (GAC), spearheaded by Roper and local architects, would serve as a community space for artists who need it. A petition in support of the arts center is 21 signatures away from reaching a goal of 250.
Roper says there are two key items needed to make GAC a realization: a nonprofit organization willing to operate the center and a short-term lease from Montgomery County.
Roper says funding from the county isn’t needed because the building would sustain itself with fees charged to local artists to use the space, a viable retail store, and paid community classes.