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.

Reliable news and information is vitally important. Local advertising has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the Vermont Community Newspaper Group remains committed to its responsibility to serve its communities. Your communities. With some assistance from loyal readers, community organizations, foundations and other funders, we hope to keep reporters on the job keeping you informed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our local journalism fund. Thank you for your support.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.