The Helen Day Art Center plans to build a two-kiln ceramics classroom in the basement of the Pond Street building it shares with the Stowe Free Library.

The project will take up more than a third of the basement space, now used for storage.

Rachel Moore, executive director of the art center, said the project is estimated to cost $150,000.

Charles Safford, town manager, said the town government will pay $25,000 to bring the electrical system in the town-owned building up to code.

Plans have been in the works since January and now the art center’s ready to start, with select board approval.

The design includes two tables, a three-bay sink, and shelving in the 745-square-foot classroom. Next to that is a 124-square-foot room that would house two electric kilns. The room would have specialized ventilation to remove fumes that result while firing glazed ceramics.

Next to that would be a 75-square-foot clay storage room and 225 square feet of open shelving.

Those electric kilns will pull a lot of power. While the town is bringing the electrical system up to code, the current 400 amp service will be upgraded to 800 amps to meet the kilns’ draw. These will be metered separately from the rest of the library’s electricity, so the art center can pay that portion of the bill.

The art center will also pay for all electrical work required inside the building for the classroom project.

When the select board reviewed the plan, Margot Hall, a member of Friends of the Stowe Free Library, said she was concerned about the project’s impact on air quality in the basement. Moore assured her the art center has considered the impact, and has taken steps to deal with it.

The select board decided to delay approval of the project until it meets July 13. In the meantime, a board member will tour the space and weigh the project’s impact on the basement’s current state.

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