A fire broke out at the new location for North Suburban Center for the Arts (formerly Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts) on Thursday, Sept. 23.
NSCA recently signed a five-year lease to occupy and renovate its new location, the Fridley Fire Department’s decommissioned Fire Station 3 on the corner of East River Road and 77th Way NE.
At 8 p.m. Thursday evening, Fridley firefighters were dispatched to a report of a blown transformer and downed power lines, which caused a fire on the roof of the new NSCA building.
“Fridley Fire reacted quickly and efficiently and were able to put the fire out before it spread,” said Abby Kosberg, executive director of NSCA, in a statement on Facebook. “Thankfully, no one was at the building when the fire occurred, and no one was injured while the fire crew worked to put the fire out.”
Kosberg said there was mild to moderate damage done to the firehouse’s attic space, roof, eave, exterior soffit and to the building’s electrical system.
“I am currently working with the city of Fridley and their insurance (the city insures the physical building per our lease) to facilitate the necessary repairs to the building,” Kosberg said.
The original plan was to start renovations of the firehouse this fall with the goal of completing the project by early 2022. Kosberg said with the setback of the fire, an updated renovation timeline is unknown at this time.
The NSCA hired William Rust of Rust Architects in White Bear Lake to help design the new building and oversee construction.
“I’m confident that we will work through this quickly and efficiently and be back on track as soon as possible,” Kosberg said. “These past few months have proven how strong and supportive our community is. And although this might seem like yet another setback, I’m thankful everyone is safe and that we have a clear path forward.”
On June 1, the Anoka County Parks Board voted to discontinue funding of the art center and asked that it relocate from the historic Banfill-Locke House, in Fridley, which has been home for the past 33 years, by the end of 2021. In response, the organization has since announced a few major changes, including rebranding as the NSCA and a capital campaign, “Home Is Where the Art Is,” to support a transition into a new space.
The NSCA is continuing to work out of the Banfill-Locke House until renovations are completed.
The NSCA is continuing to raise the estimated $100,000 needed for renovations. To donate, visit banfill-locke.org.
~Contributed by ABC Newspapers Staff Writer Emilee Wentland.