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Cornelius News

Demolition underway for future Cain Center for the Arts

Major donors Bill and Ericka Cain thanked everyone for their support

Sept. 10. By Dave Yochum. With more than $17 million raised so far, the Cain Center for the Arts took a big step forward this morning with demolition of the existing blue metal buildings getting under way just west of the police station.

The third building on the 1.85 acre site, what’s left of a cotton gin, will be dismantled piece by piece. Portions of the historic gin will be used in the construction of the center’s new venue.

Top elected officials, including the mayors of Huntersville and Cornelius, County Commissioner Pat Cotham, NC Rep. Christy Clark and NC Sen. Natasha Marcus, attended as well as major donors including Ericka and Bill Cain, whose $5 million gift was instrumental in fundraising efforts, the Cashion family and members of the Griffin family who are providing demolition services at no charge.

County Manager Dena Diorio also attended; Mecklenburg County is contributing $1 million to the Cain Center for the Arts which will cost $25 million and become a regional attraction, Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam said.

“This is an exciting step forward at an exciting time for this important regional project,” said Washam. “We’ve raised more than $17 million, and it’s amazing to see how much support the community has stepped forward to provide.”

Ericka Cain, Sharon Washam, Woody Washam, Pat Cotham

He said the public/private project will not only anchor Old Town Cornelius but the entire Lake Norman Region by adding a “critically missing regional element which will provide cultural arts, arts education and a community center for citizens of Cornelius, North Mecklenburg and beyond.”

When complete, Cain Center for the Arts will include a 400-seat theater, gallery space, event spaces, three classrooms, a community green space and an outdoor plaza. As the region’s only public arts and community center, it will offer performances, education experiences, and a place for community events and gatherings.

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Louise Cashion, Gordon Cashion, John Aneralla, Mike Griffin