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With Hamilton fire house sold, Cincinnati arts organization planning to move in

Posted at 7:27 AM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 09:36:44-04

HAMILTON, Ohio — Following the sale of the historic fire house in the East End neighborhood, Hamilton-based Primo Property Services LLC has begun design work needed to transform the 110-year-old building into a community outreach and arts center on the first floor, with short-term rental spaces upstairs, according to the Journal-News.

Meanwhile, a 7-year-old Cincinnati arts organization called Wave Pool has begun meeting with Hamilton arts organizations and others to learn how programs it can offer would fit with the needs of the community. Wave Pool in Cincinnati’s Camp Washington neighborhood offers art and cooking classes, community dinners and other entertainment opportunities to people.

Wave Pool and its service, called The Welcome Project, empower “Cincinnati’s refugee and immigrant population while connecting, assisting, and inspiring all through art and food,” according to Wave Pool’s website.

Following the sale for $500 of the property at 1224 Shuler Ave., a fire house that went into service 110 years ago this month and was taken out of service in 2013, Kate Yerigan and Heather Bernal of Primo Property Services are readying plans to restore the fire station with the help of family. They plan to invest $60,000 in the rehabilitation, plus $100,000 in sweat equity, over two years from themselves and talented family members in construction fields.

“We’ve had everybody there,” Bernal said. “The building inspectors, plumbers, electricians, HVAC people. We had the bug guy out to make sure there were no bugs. Just everything.”

An engineer is working building on drawings for the project, which may include three upstairs bedrooms plus a large main area with built-in bunk beds, so if three families with athletes playing in a tournament at the under-construction Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex came to visit, there could be perhaps nine bunks in a living area, and the parents could have relative peace among themselves, Bernal said.

Meanwhile, they and Wave Pool recently met with representatives of such organizations as the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, Miami University, city government and Artspace Hamilton Lofts.

Wave Pool also plans to meet with people in the surrounding neighborhood to discuss what they would like to see there, Bernal said. They plan to have the project complete in two years, as required by the city, if not sooner.

“I have asked several of the inspectors if we’re doomed, and they say we’re not doomed, and they’re jealous,” Bernal said.

“What people should know is it’s going to be awesome, and we’re going to be an active part of the community.”

Also, artist Calcagno “Cal” Cullen, a founder of Wave Pool, “is one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life,” Bernal said. “Everything she touches is for the good of the world and the community, and I’ve always been in awe of her, so I’m very excited to work with her. She’s just always up to something new, and something that’s going to help people, and sort of quirky and fun.”