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Residents Call for Arts Center After Police Station Moves

The estimated cost of renovating the space is $750,000, according to organizers.


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.

ilkunta May 16, 2012 at 01:55 PM
There is already Pyramid Atlantic in downstown SS just around the corner from Sligo Ave. What other options are available for this building ?
John Chamberlain May 16, 2012 at 06:16 PM
John C With the increased business development and residential construction in the East Silver Spring areas, there seems to be a strong rationale for maintaining police presence closer to the Area. Since the 3rd District Police Station presently located at 801 Sligo Ave is being relocated, is it possible to maintain and repurpose the existing facility at 801 Sligo Avenue as a Police "Sub-Station", so there continues to be a police presence closer to the increasing business and residential development and crime in the East Silver Spring and downtown Silver Spring locations?
Joe May 17, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I'm all for the idea. But, why would they give it the same name as the art center on Rhode Island Ave?
jag May 17, 2012 at 08:35 PM
An arts center for DTSS sounds nice, but I really don't think this is the location for it. The building misuses the land so poorly that, frankly, I think it needs to be demoed for townhomes or a much larger 2-4 story build. Heck, with the money the county gets from selling this pacel it could buy some or all of City Place and turn all those empty storefronts into artist workspaces/displays. That's a pretty junky idea, but seriously, a whole host of places make more sense for art studios than this prime, yet currently underutilized parcel.

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