— by Mark McKillip


Great progress is being made on the construction of CCAC’s new 18,000-square-foot home at 3412 Clifton Avenue — the first purpose-built community arts center in Cincinnati. As a founder of CCAC, long-time Board member, and now serving as the pro bono Owner’s Representative for this project, the following is my construction update as of late October 2023.

Many neighbors have commented on the beautiful rendering of the building’s façade. By mid-November – weather permitting – the outside of the building should look relatively complete. This includes masonry (red bricks and brown stone), curtainwall, the glass, and windows. Also finished around that time will be the rooftop handrails, paved patio, and green roof sections, which are less visible from the street below. The parking lot improvements are scheduled for completion by mid-December, at which time most of the 54 parking spaces will be available for shared use between Dewey’s Pizza and CCAC. The parking lot perimeter will be landscaped, and attractive fencing will define the edges of Clifton United Methodist Church’s property, the Skyline’s parking lot, and residences along Hosea Avenue. Progress will continue on the interiors, to be completed in phases on a floor-by-floor basis and scheduled for completion by Christmas, followed by punch list work, furniture delivery, and regulatory inspections in January with “Substantial Completion” slated for no later than January 31, 2024.

CCAC’s staff plans to invite a few classes or smaller programs into the space in February as a “soft opening,” welcoming the community at large to a Grand Opening Celebration in early March. A private reception on Friday, March 8 will receive guests like CCAC’s first Executive Director, Ruth Dickey. A public Open House on Saturday, March 9, will allow everyone to explore every corner of the building and sample a few classes.

Work remains on schedule and within budget, thanks to an incredible team. Let’s all thank: Emersion Design/Architect and Skanska USA/Construction Manager; Genesis Design, Inc./ Civil Engineer for the building site and parking lot improvements; Pinnacle Engineering/Structural Engineer; IMEG (formerly PEDCO)/Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer; BCL IT Consulting/Telecommunications, Security and Audio/Visual; and HMBA/Theater equipment consultant. We gratefully acknowledge our neighbors, Dewey’s Pizza, Skyline Chili, and the Clifton United Methodist Church for their cooperation and assistance during the entire process.

We still have some way to go to reach our fundraising goal to completely fund Clifton’s new home for the arts. The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation has issued a challenge and will match up to $100,000 in contributions made before January. When planning for your end-of-year giving, please consider making an additional gift to CCAC’s capital campaign. Visit cliftonculturalarts.org to make a gift and to stay up to date on the completion of construction.

(Included in the Winter 2023 Clifton Chronicle)