Financial pieces fall into place for Klinkhart


By Patsy Nicosia

The final piece of funding has fallen into place for the first phase of the Klinkhart Hall Arts Center.
Directors for the Sharon Springs non-profit learned Wednesday that they’ve been approved for a $500,000 line of credit from the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region.
“It’s not just great news, it’s transitional,” said Denise Kelly, vice president for the KHAC.
The effort to rehabilitate the 1885 Klinkhart Hall, built by George Klinkhart at the corner of Main and Division Streets, has already been awarded $820,000 in state and economic development grants from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York Empire State Development Corporation, and National Grid’s Main Street Revitalization program.
But because those grants are reimbursable, the money has to be spent first; the CLP line of credit will provide that money—and allow the Klinkhart group to move ahead with hiring a contractor for Phase 1: rehabilitation of the second floor.
Phase 1 will provide internal access to the second floor, use of the Performance Hall and gallery spaces, bathrooms, and utility systems and directors are cautiously optimistic it will be done in time for their 2022 Poetry Festival.
Future phases will address accessibility, exterior restoration, and a state-of-the-art first floor theater.
The KHAC is envisioned as a place for all arts—from lectures to concerts to gallery exhibits.
Those efforts began in 2007, when, afraid that Klinkhart Hall--which has housed a theater, car dealership showroom, post office, opera house, and until the 1990s, a Masonic Lodge--was in danger of falling into irreversible disrepair, a group of businessmen bought the building, then donated it to the not-for-profit Klinkhart Hall Arts Center they created in 2016.
It’s been a long haul today, but Ms. Kelly said the support of people who believe in what they’re doing has kept them going.
“We just see this as something that’s going to mean so much to Sharon Springs and surrounding communities,” she said.
“We’re excited to be taking this next big step.”
Even with the CLF line of credit, KHAC will be continuing its fundraising efforts.
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