Arts Village receives final touches on green space
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
January 18, 2013 12:00 AM | 1846 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Standing in front of the new event green space on the Elm Street Cultural Arts Center’s four-acre campus, Elm Street Board President Shawn McLeod, Russell Smith of Walton Communities, Steve Ware of Austin Outdoor, Elm Street Board Fundraising Director Ann Litrel and Melissa Casteel of Mondo Land Planning+Design celebrate the completion of the new space that will be used for a variety of community events. <br>Special to the Tribune
Standing in front of the new event green space on the Elm Street Cultural Arts Center’s four-acre campus, Elm Street Board President Shawn McLeod, Russell Smith of Walton Communities, Steve Ware of Austin Outdoor, Elm Street Board Fundraising Director Ann Litrel and Melissa Casteel of Mondo Land Planning+Design celebrate the completion of the new space that will be used for a variety of community events.
Special to the Tribune
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WOODSTOCK — One of the major components of Elm Street Cultural Arts Village’s new campus is now completed, marking the beginning of development for the nonprofit theater and arts organization’s new four-acre campus.

Ann Litrel, director of fundraising for the Elm Street board of directors, said final touches were put on Elm Street’s new event green space last week. So far, the fundraising for the entire Elm Street Campus project has reached over $750,000, she said.

Additionally, the Elm Street board of directors will hold a meeting Tuesday to get public input on future developments for the theatre and arts center.

Elm Street, a collaborative effort by local arts enthusiasts to bring an arts center to Woodstock, is temporarily housed in the city-owned City Center building on Main Street.

Litrel said the event green will have multiple uses for the community, serving to host outdoor festivals and markets, offering a recreational space along the Greenprints Trail system, and providing a venue for outdoor performances and classes for the Elm Street Theater and local businesses.

“There’s a possibility for open-air drawing classes and space for groups that may want to come and practice yoga, or any other group activity,” Litrel said of her many ideas for the space.

She said plans for the new Elm Street campus include a theater, the former Reeves House converted to a studio and gallery space, a woodland garden, a culinary and instructional garden center and the recently-completed events green.

Purchased by the county in 2010, the Reeves House, which sits on Elm Street, is about 2,500 square feet and was built between 1897 and 1906 by Luther Reeves.

Litrel said plans are in place for the century-old building to be restored later this year.

“Structurally, it’s in very good shape,” she said.

The new location puts the Elm Street campus at one spur of the 60-mile trail network that runs through downtown Woodstock, known as the Greenprints Trail.

Litrel said Florida-based Austin Outdoor and Highland Waterworks of Atlanta donated nearly $20,000 worth of materials and labor to complete the new event green.

“Elm Street fit in perfectly with the type of projects we like to assist in our corporate outreach program,” said Brian Wester, regional vice president for Austin Outdoor.

Jim Hester, president of Highland Waterworks, said his company was happy to be involved with the community effort.

Walton Communities, developer of the Woodstock West by Walton apartment complex, also donated materials and labor for the overall site grading and infrastructure earlier in 2012, Elm Street Board of Directors Shawn McLeod said.

Additionally, Melissa Casteel, principal landscape architect of Mondo Land Planning + Design, continues to donate site services on an ongoing basis.

On Tuesday, the arts center will solicit feedback from community leaders during a programming and development charrette to identify future development plans. The session will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Chambers at City Center and the public is welcome to attend.

“We want the public to have an opportunity to look and see what their wants and needs are,” Litrel said. “After we’ve had a chance to go through the feedback, we’ll go back to the board and our development committee who will refine the plan so it can have all the programming the people in the community want.”

The session will begin with an overview of where planners are in the process of development and include three break-out sessions for small group feedback. It will conclude with a meeting of the entire group.

Tuesday’s meeting will be moderated by Casteel, a registered landscape architect.



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