Q: Why is this project important to Waterville? What will be different?
The Paul J. Schupf Art Center is an opportunity to strengthen the arts and cultural institutions that have enriched our community for decades. This project will provide a new home for Railroad Square Cinema with improved seating, projection, and sound capabilities, while also relieving the financial pressures of maintaining an aging building and paying a monthly lease for parking. The Paul J. Schupf Art Center will also bring a piece of the Colby Museum to downtown, something that both residents and visitors alike have long advocated for, alongside the community-developed exhibition space of Common Street Arts. One of the most exciting pieces of the project is the creation of several flexible classroom spaces, which will allow for expanded arts education opportunities for residents of all ages. With this entire facility connecting directly to the Waterville Opera House in an elegant, highly visible way, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center will be a facility unmatched anywhere in the state of Maine.
Q: What is the timeline?
The timeline for construction and opening is dependent on the ability to raise funds for the project. The generous naming gift from Paul J. Schupf, announced April 23, 2019, launches the project into the next phase of additional design and pre-construction planning. Once the construction design and plan are complete, the construction period for this project is anticipated to be around 18 months.
Q: What about parking?
We understand that parking and access are of vital importance to our arts patrons and to the entire downtown community. We are committed to working with the city, business leaders, and community members to ensure that there is adequate parking to meet our patrons’ needs both on a day to day basis and for special events. Parking and accessibility issues will be key discussion points as the center moves into the design phase.
Q: Whose project is this?
Waterville Creates! and Colby College are working together on this exciting project. From the planning and design to the fundraising, the Downtown Arts Center is a collaborative effort. Ultimately, though, this is a community project. More than just a building, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center brings together some of the community’s most beloved arts institutions in one centrally located, comfortable, welcoming space in the heart of our city.
Q: How can the community help to make this project happen?
Waterville Creates! is currently leading a community capital campaign to raise $2 million in support of this transformative project. In addition to financial support, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center project needs ambassadors who can speak to the value of the project to Waterville’s revitalization efforts, the economic vitality of our downtown businesses, and our community’s arts and cultural identity.
Q: Where can I find more information?
For the latest project information, contact Shannon Haines, President + CEO at email@example.com