FRANKFORT — Transforming a 1934 Coast Guard station into a vibrant art center is a tall order.
Add in making the project environmentally friendly from start to finish and the resulting Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts — or Oliver Art Center for short — will be an green innovator in Benzie County for years to come.
The building recently received a LEED Platinum rating from the United States Green Building Council, the highest green certification. The Oliver Art Center is the 12th building in the state to achieve that ranking and the first in northern Michigan.
"To get the Platinum rating, the building had to be constructed and must be maintained to extremely high standards," said Steve Brown, executive director of the Oliver Art Center. "We're doing things right for the future as opposed to just slapping an old building together and putting some art in it."
Construction features that earned the center's Platinum rating include reusing 95 percent of the old building's walls, floors and roof; extensively insulating the building; controlling interior climate using geothermal cooling and energy recovery ventilation systems; installing low-flow water fixtures and high-efficiency lighting; using local materials and providing windows in every room. The parking lot, too, is permeable and the property has a storm water management system.
"It's exciting because I think it highlights the sustainability of reusing an existing building," said Ann Dilcher, project manager for Quinn Evans Architects. "It's important that you are not just tearing down and putting all that material in a landfill."
Leaders of the collaborative, public-private partnership took the long view from the start — a visionary stance, according to architect Mike Quinn of Quinn Evans Architects.
"The city of Frankfort, as owner, should also take pride in this accomplishment as a demonstration of how individuals and government agencies can support creating a healthier environment for future generations," he said.
Green principles boosted the overall price tag of the $3.2 million renovation but will save money in the long run because of reduced utility costs compared to new construction. Major renovations converted quarters and boat bays into an art gallery, but the Oliver Art Center still pays homage to the original design and function. Renovation plans received approval from both the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service.
"The building is stunning, useful, forward-looking and in this beautiful nexus of nature," said Brown, noting the center's location on Betsie Bay, where eagles, ducks, otters and minks can be seen amid lake views.
The center has hosted more than 20 exhibitions of local, regional and statewide artists since it officially opened in June 2011, and this class season boasts 50 teachers and at least as many volunteers.
"The town and the region and Benzie County have really supported us overwhelmingly," Brown said.
The 9,000-square-foot Oliver Art Center continues a rich history of art in Frankfort and Benzie County. The former Crystal Lake Art Center dates to 1948 when it began in a horse stable. A fire and some moves later, the center's home on 10th Street in Frankfort was bursting at the seams by the early 2000s.
Discussions of building a larger center transformed into conversations to renovate the Coast Guard building when the city acquired it in 2007. Josh Mills, Frankfort's superintendent, came to the then-Crystal Lake Art Center's board and asked them to submit a proposal to the federal government.
"We had outgrown our space," said Elaine Peterson, an Oliver Art Center board member who has been involved with the renovation since the beginning. "Our gallery was the classroom and meeting room, we just didn't have enough space."
Over the next few years, the center's capital campaign drew deep support as 530 donors pitched in with donations ranging from a penny to $700,000.
Even after more than 18 months after the center opened, improvements and growth continues. The Oliver Art Center just received a $40,000 grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to renovate a former garage into a ceramics studio.
For more information on the Oliver Art Center, call (231) 352-4151 or see www.oliverartcenterfrankfort.org.
Oliver Center renovation gets highest environmental rating
FRANKFORT — Transforming a 1934 Coast Guard station into a vibrant art center is a tall order.
Emails show NMC leaders made decisions outside public meetings
Northwestern Michigan College’s elected officials debated in a flurry of emails whether to televise their monthly board meetings, a behind-the-scenes decision-making process that altered some trustees’ public opposition and occurred outside the public eye.Continued ...
NMC president's email to college staff
Northwestern Michigan College President Tim Nelson sent the following email to college employees Tuesday afternoon:Continued ...
Michigan's Open Meetings Act
State lawmakers created Michigan’s Open Meetings Act to strengthen citizens’ ability to know what goes on in government, according to an OMA guide published by Michigan’s attorney general.Continued ...
Consultant: Architecture great, traffic a problem
Heads shook and shoulders drooped as the group approached one of the last stops on a tour of Eighth Street in Traverse City: the brick and barn-red sheet metal walls of an auto parts warehouse.Continued ...
Division Street residents stuck in sewer limbo
Division Street residents Bill Greene and James Begeman might live in Traverse City’s most unfortunate place for a sewer, as evidenced by a possible repair bill of more than $60,000 to fix their collapsed line.Continued ...
Millage to go on ballot at same rate
Leelanau County commissioners unanimously agreed to put a senior services millage on the August ballot. They approved language for a 4-year renewal at .275 mills.Continued ...
Man faces arson and insurance fraud charges
An Antrim County man faces felony charges of conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud after investigators received information that an April 2013 house fire may have been intentionally set.Continued ...
Lake Ann man arrested for forgery
A Lake Ann man faces charges on his fourth forgery offense after he tried to cash a money order that did not belong to him.Continued ...
Trustee seeks Acme Treasurer position
Acme Township trustees will consider their lone applicant for township treasurer, trustee Amy Jenewa, at a special meeting today.Continued ...
- Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Snyder talks taxes, Medicaid
Gov. Rick Snyder thinks the state of Michigan finally got it right on attempts to reform the personal property tax on business.Continued ...
Painting with sand
The Dennos Museum Center of Northwestern Michigan College is ringing with noise this week as Tibetan Buddhist monks construct a Mandala sand painting in the center of the museum.Continued ...
Center renovations underway
Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan’s local health center is getting a face-lift thanks to money raised through the organization’s Standing Tall capital campaign.Continued ...
Sketch leads to attempted robbery suspect
A forensic sketch of a suspect in an attempted pharmacy robbery in Elk Rapids helped village police nab a potential culprit.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 04/16/2014
Because of a photographer’s error, Matthew Failor and William Kalajian were incorrectly listed as qualifying for the National Geographic Bee in the Monday’s edition of the Record-Eagle.Continued ...
- Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Rivers recede, residents watch sky for rain
Area rivers and streams began to recede with the recent sunshine, but riverfront property owners worry about a forecast that calls for a chance of more snow and rain through the weekend.Continued ...
TBAISD adopts new teacher evaluation model
Educators across the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District soon will be evaluated under new guidelines.Continued ...
Bid for teacher evaluation system open
The Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District seeks sealed bids for its new educator evaluation system.Continued ...
Suttons Bay High School teacher resigns after kiss with student
A Suttons Bay High School teacher had an “inappropriate,” but not illegal, relationship with a student in the senior class, the school district’s top administrator said.Continued ...
Custodian's sentence upheld
The son of a former Traverse City school board president this month lost his final appeal to trim an eight- to 15-year prison sentence for his conviction on charges of criminal sexual conduct with a 13-year-old student.Continued ...
Renowned planner to discuss Eighth Street
Robert Gibbs, a national leader in new sustainable town planning and commercial market research, will lead a discussion on remaking what one city official described as Traverse City’s tired, under-performing corridors into economic powerhouses of life and energy.Continued ...
Five injured in Antrim County crash
Authorities are investigating a two-vehicle crash in rural Antrim County that sent five Mancelona residents to the hospital.Continued ...
- Monday, April 14, 2014
High water, low temps
Rivers are rising and the temperature is falling as the start-and-stop transition from winter to spring continues.Continued ...
Suttons Bay teacher resigns after accusations
A Suttons Bay High School teacher resigned after accusations arose that she carried on an "inappropriate" relationship with a male student who is in the senior class.Continued ...
Teens make top 10 in geo bee
The whole world is fair territory in the National Geographic Bee. The annual competition is an educational program of the National Geographic Society designed to encourage the teaching and study of geography.Continued ...
Task force takes long look at teen pregnancy
Pregnant teens are an "invisible" population. "They may drop out of school, they may not have access to transportation and they're often marginalized," said Marjorie Rich, the Women's Resource Center Doula Client Advocate.Continued ...
- Emails show NMC leaders made decisions outside public meetings