Main Gallery Renovation Project

 Project Overview

In December 2019, LexArt announced receipt of a gift of $250,000 from Joseph Nye, Jr. to be dedicated to renovation of LexArt’s main gallery.  Upon completion, the new gallery will be named in honor of Molly Nye, a longtime member and former President of the Society.

The main goal of the project is to provide a modern, spacious-feeling, and flexible showcase for LexArt’s exhibitions and sales.

We hope to begin construction this summer and complete the project by September 2020.

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Final design concept

Possible Concept Design Interior - Alternate Ceiling Treatment

Progress Report (February 2020)

Progress Report (February 14, 2020)

The project is moving fast.   We issued a Request for Proposals, to which three firms responded.  An ad hoc Selection Committee interviewed all three and unanimously recommending hiring the award-winning firm Paul Lukez Architecture.

A Project Planning Committee developed a vision and set of functional requirements for the gallery and met with the Lukez team in mid-January to kick off the design process.  The Lukez team went right to work, measuring and studying the space for use patterns and possible layouts to meet our current and future needs.  

Option 1 - Retain Current Entrance Location

On February 11, Lukez returned to the Planning Committee, presenting several conceptual plans and many sectional views studying the quality of space that we might envision. They also created a reference book of options for  displays, lighting and future installations or improvements to the circulation and space.  The Planning Committee provided feedback on the designs.   Lukez will next return with two more detailed options. 

In parallel with the design work, we are working with local contractors to schedule fast-track construction so that the project can be completed over the summer.

Option 2 - Shift Entrance North (to Current Picture Window)

 Design Objectives for the Project

  1. Renovate the gallery to provide a modern, spacious-feeling, and flexible showcase for LexArt’s exhibitions and sales.

  2. Provide a flexible retail area that can run full time as part of the gallery, envisioned as the place people from Lexington and surrounding towns would think to come to purchase a wedding gift.

  3. Remove the existing kitchen but maintain minimal food prep facility for receptions.

  4. Provide a staff workstation so that an employee can act as gallery sitter/receptionist, ending exclusive reliance on volunteer gallery sitters.

  5. Provide an accessible bathroom.

  6. Provide storage for the support materials associated with the gallery.

  7. Remove or mitigate any hazardous materials which are encountered in the renovation.

 Design Objectives for the Project

  1. Renovate the gallery to provide a modern, spacious-feeling, and flexible showcase for LexArt’s exhibitions and sales.

  2. Provide a flexible retail area that can run full time as part of the gallery, envisioned as the place people from Lexington and surrounding towns would think to come to purchase a wedding gift.

  3. Remove the existing kitchen but maintain minimal food prep facility for receptions.

  4. Provide a staff workstation so that an employee can act as gallery sitter/receptionist, ending exclusive reliance on volunteer gallery sitters.

  5. Provide an accessible bathroom.

  6. Provide storage for the support materials associated with the gallery.

  7. Remove or mitigate any hazardous materials which are encountered in the renovation.

Option 3 - Shift Entrance South to Corner

Progress Update (February 28, 2020)

We met yesterday with four building contractors to do walk throughs and review preliminary plans.   Three  have long-standing connections to Lexington and the fourth, in Newton, has a well-respected program of working with non-profits.

 

All four expressed genuine interest in working with us and believed that the summer construction schedule was easily achievable.   Moreover, all four firms made very strong positive impressions with the LexArt team. 

 

The contractors will be delivering preliminary budget numbers in the coming weeks, which will then enable the architects to refine the design with a much better sense of the cost implications of different choices.

 

As anyone knows who has done any kind of construction work, especially renovations, any optimism must be tinged with caution until the project is complete.  Still, we are thrilled that things are moving along as planned.

 Progress Update (June 8, 2020)

The final round of design documentation and plans are in progress.  Construction will start later this month.  A more detailed schedule will be finalized in the next weeks.

Recent changes to the project should make the building a lot more comfortable.  New HVAC and hot water systems will serve both the gallery and the ceramics studio below.  Removal of an obsolete chimney will improve space utilization on both floors.  And an elegant lighting system will enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the artwork on display.

Lexington Arts & Crafts Society

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