Ocean Pines officials on Thursday officially broke ground on the new craft building at White Horse Park, to be used by the Pine’eer Craft Club.
The Board of Directors in June voted unanimously to award a $86,826 contract for the new building to Ocean Tower Construction, LLC. The building will be constructed based on a design by Ocean City architectural and engineering firm MAD Design Group, Inc.
As a result of a March vote by the Board of Directors, the Craft Club will enter into a 10-year rental agreement for the new building, with an annual charge of between $3792 and $5064, depending on the final construction costs.
The new building will stand across from the administration building and adjacent to the Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market held at White Horse Park, while the old building will be demolished to provide additional parking for the nearby Community Center.
The Pine’eer Artisan and Gift Shop was established in 1974 and the organization behind it has a long track record of giving back to the community, having donated more than $150,000 over the years to Ocean Pines Police, Public Works, and Recreation and Parks, among other groups. The club also sponsors craft fairs that each year draw hundreds of people to Ocean Pines.
Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Program Supervisor Debbie Donahue thanked the Board of Directors for approving the building upgrade, which she called “a long time coming.”
“I think it will make a much nicer location and storefront for our Craft Club to work out of, so they can continue to give back to the community and to the different departments of Ocean Pines,” she said.
“They make donations every year to all of our departments with the funds that they make, and none of that money goes outside of our community. To me, it only makes sense that we would offer to put up a nicer building for them to be able to continue to do what they do,” Donahue added.
Association President Doug Parks said he was “excited to get things started” on the new building.
“It’s been needed for a while. The other building was not in great shape, so it makes all the sense in the world to provide this service to the crafters,” he said.
General Manager John Viola agreed.
“We think it’s a wonderful organization that for several decades has given back to both the Ocean Pines Association and the community, so we’re happy to do our part in supporting them with this new building,” he said.
Pine’eer Craft Club President Sharon Puser said she was thrilled at the prospect of a new building with a better workspace and storefront. The organization has roughly 70 members.
“That has been a long time coming for us,” she said. “The other shop was starting to be run down and now we’ll have a whole new space to continue our work, which is to help support the community. We’re very excited.”
Oleg Shakirov of Ocean Tower Construction added the company was “honored to be awarded with this project.”
“We want to help the community in putting this new building up and we hope they’ll enjoy this new space,” he said.
Construction on the new building is scheduled to start in August.