Camillus The buildings once housed Our Lady of Good Counsel, but now the church and parish hall will see a re-birth as a fine arts and performing center in Warners.
Dovielly’s Fine and Peforming Arts Center will take root in the buildings. The church, which was closed in 2008 by the Diocese, will become a vocal, instrument and theater center. The parish hall behind the church will become a hub for fine arts.
“It’s a church, there’s not a whole lot you can do with it,” said Douglas McCall. “This is a way to repurpose a property that would otherwise sit empty.”
Doug, an Auburn music teacher, currently runs Bella Musica Studio, offering vocal lessons. It’s their intention to open the church up to those lessons, and also offer the space to other instructors for their lessons. The Warners Community Theater Project is also looking to use the space for theater lessons and rehearsal for upcoming theater classes, projects and performances.
His wife, Stephanie, is a quilter and runs Quilts by Commission. In the parish hall, she’s looking to bring in five artists-in-residence to work on classes for different fine arts activities like sculpture, pottery, basket weaving and sewing.
“It will be higher-form artistry, no glitter or pom-poms, it’s not the childish stuff,” Stephanie said.
Combined, the buildings will create the Fine and Performing Arts Center.
“It’s a natural marriage of our talents to put them together,” said Doug.
They decided the project would be a good fit for the space, to create a community-focused area with a focus on the fine arts.
“Everything we’re doing has a community base to it,” said Doug. “It’s a matter of augmenting the work [West Genesee] is already doing.”
They’re not forgetting the roots of the building, either. They plan to leave the church as it is, once code updates have been completed. The stained glass windows and steeple — two iconic pieces of the church — will stay.
“Our intent is to keep it the white church across from the fire department,” Doug said. “That’s the character the building already has, and it’s not up to us to change that.”