Despite storms and heavy rains Thursday afternoon, community leaders and members gathered at the Victor R. Small House for the official opening and dedication of the Carriage House Studio.
The Carriage House Studio was originally constructed in the early 1920s, but was damaged during a weather front that passed through Clinton in September 2016. Nearly a year later, the new, and improved, studio is celebrating its completion.
In April of 2015, the Carriage House underwent renovations to construct a pottery studio. Arts Council director Kara Donatelli said the plans were to offer pottery classes once the renovations were complete, and the council could purchase a kiln.
“We had just completed the addition of a kiln room so that the Arts Council could offer pottery classes,” Sampson Arts Council board of directors member Ray Jordan said. “The original building was much smaller than the new building and would only accommodate approximately six to eight students comfortably. It had no running water or storage rooms as well.”
The new structure is twice the size of the old building, allowing more space for larger classes, and has running water.
Prior to the 2015 work, local donations were made to help with the renovations on the Small House property. The carriage doors on the front of the old building were replaced and updated, an additional door was added to the side of the building for access, the electrical system was rewired and new outlets were added and an additional room was built with ventilation for the use of the kiln.
Damage during the storm to the building was so extensive, and in order to meet current code restrictions, the council began working with the insurance company and started from scratch.
“Due to the extensive damages, it was determined that the existing Carriage House would need to be demolished and relocated to meet current zoning set-back requirements,” Jordan explained.
Upon learning the news of the damages, Jordan said two Sampson County families reached out to the Sampson Arts Council expressing their interest in helping to rebuild the facility. They also discussed the possibilities for creating a larger space that could provide additional room for offering classes to a larger number of students.
“Special thanks are extended to Mrs. Annabelle L. Fetterman, her daughter Molly Held and Mr. and Mrs. James Jones,” Jordan said. “It was through their desire and generosity that the expansion of the size of the Carriage House was made possible. It is through team effort that the new Carriage House Studio is possible. This facility will serve the residents of Sampson County for years to come as a place to learn, create and grow the arts.”
According to Jordan, the new facility will serve the residents of Sampson County for years to come. He recognized Donatelli, Paula Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Bradley, along with the contractors, for their efforts in completing the project.
“On behalf of the Sampson Arts Council Board of Directors, we offer our most sincere thanks to each person that has played a role in making this new studio a reality,” Jordan said.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.