Funding for school's last phase of art expansion announced

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Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Justin Jones

PADAUCAH - Art is Evita Lynne's passion.

"I am a creative person. I see the potential in everything," she said.

So it's pretty easy for her to imagine what's next for the former Kitchen's Inc. building on Harrison Street.

"There are so many buildings that could be used for really amazing things to grow this community so this is great," Lynne said.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College President Barbara Veazey announced Thursday a $2 million campaign to expand the Paducah School of Art and Design.  Ashley Wright is the college's new Vice President of Institutional Advancement.  She said the three building campus will transform Paducah's Art District.

"We really believe the Paducah School of Art is going to be the anchor, if going to be the hub for that moving forward," Wright said.

The 29,000 square foot space will be used for two dimensional and graphic design and digital photography.  The entire renovation is expected to cost $8 million.  The Paducah Junior College kick-started the campaign by donating $500,000 from the Foundation's endowment.  Board Chairman John Williams says it's a dream come true.

"If we could pull all this together and maybe make this a focal point, for the arts community, is why we selected here block away from Lowertown," she said.

The city bought the building in 2007 and gave it to the school.  Lynne said it will be a smart investment for students like her, who have wanted a place to express themselves.

"I have always wanted to go to art school and it was a dream I thought was never going to come true," Lynne said.

WKCTC hopes to have the building open for students in the fall of 2015.

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