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Three donations enable Living Arts & Science Center to add on, renovate Kinkead House


Artist’s rendering of Living Arts & Science Centers building addition, renovation. (Rendering provided)


The Living Arts & Science Center of Lexington has received three major donations that will allow the center to move forward and break ground on an expansion and renovation in next spring. The project will more than double the existing space and dramatically expand the LASC’s capacity to serve students of all ages in the Lexington community and beyond.

Joining many contributors and grant providers are three lead donors to the capital campaign. Will Farish extended his generous commitment with an additional contribution of $500,000; bringing his total support for the LASC to $1 million. He is joined by Joe Craft, who donated $500,000, and Tom and Susie Bell, who contributed $128,000. The total amount raised thus far reaches nearly $4.2 million of the $5 million Imagine This Campaign.

“We are so grateful to have such generous donors who value the educational richness and diversity that the Living Arts & Science Center provides and who want to make it as accessible as possible to all children and adults, schools, libraries, community organizations, artists, and educators, within the community and throughout the state,” said Heather Lyons, executive director.

“Although we still have work to do to complete our campaign goal and to see this project realize its full potential, we are thrilled to take this important step forward to set a timeframe for groundbreaking and to prepare plans for new technology, exhibits and programs,” said Harriet Dupree Bradley, capital campaign chair.

The expansion and renovation will include the addition of a Planetarium, new classrooms, increased interactive exhibit spaces, a digital media studio, a teaching kitchen, a clay studio, and expanded urban green space with a rooftop garden. An innovative Glo Gallery will provide a 15-by-28-foot glass wall for projections and digital art presentations and is named in honor of long-time LASC board member and supporter Gloria Singletary.

For the past four decades, the Living Arts & Science Center has found a home in Lexington’s east end. Remaining in the community was a top priority; therefore, the project will include a complete renovation of the historic Kinkead House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The renovated space will house a new Children’s Art Gallery and a retail gallery. The current art gallery, classrooms and office spaces will be renovated as well.

“Because of the significant growth of our programs and the limitations of our space, we have had to restrict our offerings because we can’t provide for more than one group event at a time,” said Hannah Huggins, president of the center’s Board of Directors. “The new space will allow all of our programs to develop and grow within their own unique space. We anticipate nearly doubling our attendance within the first year after completion.”

The expansion and renovation is scheduled to take 10 to 12 months and will be completed in the spring of 2015.


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