The Springfield couple plans to transform the former school into a place for artists and writers to build

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The Springfield couple plans to transform the former school into a place for artists and writers to build

The building, constructed in 1916, would house private and shared studio spaces in a range of sizes that would be available for rent. Baird talked about the potential of the space as she walked up a set of stairs in the three-story building.

Stevens, executive director of the Moxie, envisions the first floor to be a public space with offices for nonprofit arts organizations.

“More than what we thought at the beginning,” said Stevens.

He said it’s going to take a good amount of work to turn their dream into reality.

Story Highlights

  • “They’ll be primarily visual artists, but also writers or anyone who needs a physical space to do their creative work,” said artist, Kate Baird, who, along with her husband, Mike Stevens, are working to purchase the old Doling School on W. Atlantic from Springfield Public Schools for the New Moon Studio Space.

  • “So, kind of the reason why, or one of the main reasons why we’re attracted to this space is that the old classrooms are these big, open, beautiful, sunny spaces that just seem like, if they’re not going to be classrooms, they should be studios,” said Baird.

“We’re learning everyday,” added Baird.

“We’re learning everyday, yes,” said Stevens. “It’s going to take a lot of work. We have architects, Paragon Architecture’s worked on other rehabs of SPS buildings, and then our contractor—they’re kind of looking at it simultaneously, but they’re kind of waiting on plans. But it’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of money—more than we thought when we started for sure.”

Michele Skalicky Foot warmers in a floor at the former Doling School in Springfield

They hope to keep as much of the original character of the building as possible, including vents in the floor that were used as foot warmers for school children, while modernizing the structure and bringing it up to code. Find out more about the project at newmoonstudiospace.com.