At a gala dedication party on Friday, May 13th, BAC members and donors celebrated the opening of their new "wing", a 480 square foot addition containing a new workspace/gallery and a greatly enlarged storage area, at the Boatworks. Mayor Matt Doherty cut the ribbon, officially christening the new space.
The BAC's programs have continued to grow over the past four years since the group took up residence in the former Connolly boat engine repair garage, a derelict building scheduled for demolition. With assistance from the borough, BAC volunteers restored the building to a habitable state, then went on to create the fun and funky arts center that we call the Boatworks. By 2010, demand for new classes and programs convinced BAC trustees of the need for more space.
Funding for the new addition was raised from donations to the BAC's building campaign and proceeds from a fall fundraiser at Spring Lake Community Theatre. While many members stopped by over the the eight months of construction, a small core of volunteers gave consistently of their time and talents. A plaque noting the contributions of John Hutchinson, Dave Taylor, Tom Volker, Neil Scheck, Joe Villa, Michael Miller, Mike Carroll, and Jim Fitzmaurice was presented during a short ceremony following the ribbon cutting. Tom Volker paid special tribute to John Hutchinson for his design of the addition (assisted by architect Tim McCorry) and management of the project.
Refreshments for the evening were provided by Belmar restaurants Ragin' Cajun, D'Jais, 10th Avenue Burrito, Tulipanos, and Jersey Shore BBQ, as well as the Melting Pot in Red Bank, while BAC member and musician Matt Brown and his friends, folk/Americana band "Thomas Wesley Stern" entertained the enthusiastic crowd. The event, which raised funds for the completion of the building campaign and for new children's programming, also served as a closing reception for our recent 7th Annual Juried Art Show.