By Adam Swift
The public outreach effort continues as the Revere Public Arts Commission continues to look at how a potential arts center at the old Beachmont Fire Station could best benefit the cityâ€™s arts community.
Smaller focus groups on the future of the building, and of the needs of the arts community in general in Revere, were scheduled for February and early this month. City officials are working to schedule a wider ranging community meeting on the Beachmont fire station in the near future.
The public visioning process is being held in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The goal of the process is to identify the arts needs in the city, and how they could be addressed through a renovation of the fire station into an arts center.
In addition to the public visioning sessions, there is also a survey on the commissionâ€™s webpage at www.revere.org/boards-and-commissions/public-arts-commission asking for public input from residents on public art.
Among other questions, the survey asks for the top things that come to mind when residents think of Revere, what colors remind them of Revere, and what types of public art and where residents would like to see them.
Public Arts Chair and Ward 1 City Councillor Joanne McKenna said she hopes to see more input in the future from the commission and the public about the future of the Beachmont station and public art in Revere.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of information that we really need to get, and as an arts council, it is very important that everyone attends,â€ said McKenna.
Once the visioning process is complete, Baker said the next steps would be to figure out how the potential uses could be successful and to make recommendations for a potential transition to a different use for the Beachmont fire station property.
Hannah Gathman of the MAPC outlined some of the assets and challenges of the fire station property that have been determined during working group meetings.
Some of the assets include the historical style and nature of the building, as well as its proximity to public transportation.
Some of the challenges include the lack of accessibility to the second floor with no elevator, a lack of parking, noise considerations from being in a residential area, and the need for extensive renovations.
At last monthâ€™s public forum, McKenna said there could be a combination of performance and exhibition space on the first floor alongside artist loft and creator spaces on the second floor, while Public Arts Commission member Brian Harkins said there is a desperate need in the city for arts space.