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October 23, 2013

Art center fundraising for passenger elevator

Thorntown — A century-old elevator will soon be out of commission unless the Sugar Creek Art Center can raise $75,000 to replace it.

The freight-only elevator is more than 100 years old, original to the Thorntown building, said Karen Wright, president of the SCAC board. The company that does the elevator’s annual inspections said it will only inspect it for a year or two more because the liability is just too costly.

“We really need a passenger elevator so we can grow the art center,” Wright said.

The freight-only elevator has limited what the art center can do. It cannot transport elderly or handicapped patrons to the second floor. And it has left the third floor untouched. And Wright has many ideas for the third floor, such as a possible theater or a puppet theater.

The elevator is how artists move their exhibits up and down the second floor.

“It serves an important function, but it’s not what the center needs to grow,” Wright said. “It hinders us just a bit.”

The art center has received a challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Boone County. The foundation will match, dollar for dollar, any donation made to this effort, up to a total of $150,000. So the center needs to raise $75,000 in order to get a new elevator. They need to raise $25,000 by the end of this year, and the remaining $50,000 by the end of next year. They have already received donations from the Boone County REMC Community Fund and from a private donor.

“The sooner, the better, because we could be using the elevator,” Wright said. “It goes to a worthy cause.”

The Sugar Creek Art Center a not-for-profit organization, so donations are tax deductible, Wright added. To donate, people may send donations to the art center, at 127 S. Pearl St., Thorntown, IN 46071, or can call 765-436-7105 for more information. There are several areas in the art center, like galleries, entire floors or the new elevator, that could be named for donors.

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