Art center unveils proposed complex for Rockland

This the proposed Center for Maine Contemporary Art complex that is to be built on Winter Street in Rockland.
Stephen Betts
This the proposed Center for Maine Contemporary Art complex that is to be built on Winter Street in Rockland. Buy Photo
Posted Dec. 05, 2013, at 5:02 p.m.
The Maine Center for Contemporary Art will be moving from Rockport to downtown Rockland in 2015.
Photo courtesy of VisionAppraisal.
The Maine Center for Contemporary Art will be moving from Rockport to downtown Rockland in 2015.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Center for Maine Contemporary Art has submitted plans to the city for a new complex.

The new building would replace the existing one on property at 21 Winter St., which the arts organization announced in May it had signed an agreement to buy. No sale has yet occurred for the building owned by SLA, LLC, which is owned by Robert and Dorothy Liberty.

The 61-year-old nonprofit arts center has been located in Rockport but the organization’s board said in May it wanted to join the thriving art scene in downtown Rockland. At the time, it announced it was in the midst of a $4 million campaign to raise money to relocate.

William Gartley of Gartley & Dorsky Engineering and Surveying said Thursday that the arts center initially considered renovating and moving into the existing building in Rockland but quickly found that would not work. Gartley will be meeting with the Rockland Planning Board on Dec. 19 for a pre-application meeting.

The new proposed center — a 12,143-square-foot building — is being designed by Toshiko Mori Architect of New York City.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art wants to open by Memorial Day 2015. Gartley said to meet that deadline, construction needs to begin in early spring 2014.

The property, about a third of an acre, is adjacent to the Strand Theatre near the Farnsworth Art Museum.

CMCA will continue with its exhibition schedule and programing over the next year-and-a-half in Rockport.

A call to the organization Thursday afternoon was not immediately returned.

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