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.
TCFF's latest free venue is all 'The Buzz'
TRAVERSE CITY — Harold “Buzz” Wilson was adamant that film should be enjoyed by all and not just those who can afford tickets. So it’s especially meaningful that Wilson’s name will be on the Traverse City Film Festival’s new free film venue, The BuzzContinued ...
Calling all cowboys and cowgirls
The search is on for a few good cowboys and cowgirls. The Manistee County Fair, which also serves Benzie County, announced it will host a rodeo that’s open to any cowpokes interested in participating in bareback riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, cowgirl’s barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.Continued ...
Parking violations spike Wednesday morning
Dozens of motorists who parked illegally overnight recently on city streets awoke to find tickets stuck to their windshields.Continued ...
City manager gets satisfactory review
City commissioners like the substance of new City Manager Jered Ottenwess and ruled his performance satisfactory but want him to develop a harder, older, and more political image.Continued ...
New driver education partnership for Big Brothers Big Sisters
Local teenagers now have the opportunity to learn to drive through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.Continued ...
UPDATE: A new Kid's Kove
Kassy Shaw and Ella Mead have some ideas about how to improve Grand Traverse County Civic Center's Kid's Kove playground.Continued ...
Moore, Glynn end marriage
Filmmaker Michael Moore's marriage is over. Moore and now ex-wife Kathleen Glynn filed a consent judgement of divorce recently in 13th Circuit Court in Antrim County. Most of the terms of the divorce are confidential.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 07/24/2014
Because of incorrect information provided to the Record-Eagle, the year of Bert Brengman's death was incorrect in Wednesday's edition. Brengman died in 1998.Continued ...
Traverse City man charged with sex crime
A Traverse City man is suspected of engaging in unwanted sex acts with a teenage relative.Continued ...
Grant will provide fresh fruit, veggies at Traverse Heights Elementary
Traverse Heights Elementary School students will get free healthy snacks during the upcoming school year thanks to a $12,650 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.Continued ...
Absentee ballots available for August election
Registered voters who won’t be able to make it to the polls for the August primary election still have time to vote by absentee ballot.Continued ...
Carter's Kids, GT County aim to replace Civic Center playground
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County is partnering with a national nonprofit group to raise money for a new playground at the county's Civic Center. Carter's Kids, a group that promotes youth fitness started by Traverse City resident and televisionContinued ...
Elmwood trustee charged with domestic violence
TRAVERSE CITY — An Elmwood Township trustee is accused of hitting his wife during an argument. David Lee Darga's wife told authorities that she was assaulted by her husband, according to a report compiled by the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department.Continued ...
Chef/caterer feeds masses at equine festival
Matt Friess doesn’t know much about the horse show world. But he knows that the way to many an equestrian’s heart is through a sweet-and-tangy cherry chicken wrap.Continued ...
- Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Severed line cuts Elk Rapids' Charter service
A severed fiber optic line caused an outage of Charter Communications service in the Elk Rapids area.Continued ...
Missing splash pad documents, delays raise questions
City commissioners want to know what happened to a draft report on the troubled Clinch Park splash pad during seven weeks of silence from city staff, but a key document was erased.Continued ...
Cherry Festival offers change to vendor fees
Trevor Tkach walked to the Open Space with one intention. To listen. Tkach, executive director of the National Cherry Festival, huddled Tuesday with a small group of vendors from this year's festival to hear concerns about higher booth fees, and to get feedback on sales.Continued ...
UPDATE: Antrim deputy turns himself in
An Antrim County sheriff's deputy accused of stealing money during an investigation has been charged with obstruction of justice and larceny in a building, both felonies.Continued ...
Candidates file for NMC, TCAPS boards
Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse City Area Public Schools will have new faces on their governing boards after November's general election.Continued ...
Two pedestrians hit on Division
An Alanson woman was seriously injured when she and a friend were struck by a car on Division Street.Continued ...
Sam's Club stone fruits recalled
A California-based packing company is recalling stone fruit that could be contaminated by listeria bacteria and was sold in stores across the country, including at the Traverse City Sam’s Club.Continued ...
Bonobo Winery: Construction in progress
Todd and Carter Oosterhouse want their new winery on Old Mission Peninsula to attract a new market – locals.Continued ...
In the BIZ: Vineyards expect big crop losses
Grand Traverse region wineries won't have much to celebrate come harvest time this year.Continued ...
Hearing delayed in child abuse, torture case
A judge delayed a preliminary examination for two Long Lake Township residents accused of abusing and torturing a 4-year-old child.Continued ...
Antrim County deputy faces obstruction of justice, larceny charges
An Antrim County sheriff's deputy is charged with obstruction of justice and larceny in a building, both felonies.Continued ...
- TCFF's latest free venue is all 'The Buzz'