OPA offers updates on new Craft Club building

Construction of the new Craft Club building should finish soon and members of the Pine’eer Craft Club hope to move in early next year, just after the busy holiday season. 

Ocean Pines General Manager John Viola and Recreation and Parks Program Supervisor Debbie Donahue on Monday hosted a meeting for about a dozen members of the club, to supply project updates and answer questions.  

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 Board of Directors in June voted unanimously to award a $86,826 contract for a new Craft Club building to Ocean Tower Construction, LLC. To help offset those charges, the Craft Club will enter into a 10-year rental agreement, with an annual charge of between $3,792 and $5,064, depending on the final construction cost.  

The new 19-by-25-foot building will stand across from the administration building and next to the Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market held at White Horse Park. 

 Donahue, on Monday, said construction was well ahead of schedule. 

“We are very close to completion of the project, much sooner than we actually thought,” she said.  

She said contractors this week would focus on light fixtures, trim and some paint touchup of the building, along with roofing and gutter work.  

“I spoke to [a representative] from Ocean Tower this morning and, as long as the weather cooperates, they’re hoping to be finished by Friday,” Donahue said. “That is way ahead of what we thought.” 

Donahue said the Association hopes to schedule a walkthrough the following week, with Ocean Pines Public Works then pitching in on some final additions. She said Public Works would also help in the move from the old to the new building, after the holidays.  

“We want to give you time to get through the holidays with your store open, and then still have time to pack it all up,” Donahue said. “We are looking for demolition on this [old] building by the end of January.” 

Along with the fast turnaround, Donahue said the Ocean Pines used several cost-savings measures to help lower the overall price. Local business Sea Floor donating the flooring for the interior, and the Association salvaged several newer components of the former Tern Grille for the Craft Club, including a new HVAC unit and windows and doors.  

“That saved a pretty good amount of money there,” Donahue said. 

Additionally, Donahue said Craft Club members Sharon Puser and Carol Quino volunteered to refurbish some of the interiors from the current building, for use in the new one.  

Quinto said the plan was to move quickly, ideally in less than a week, so the club doesn’t miss a full weekend of sales.  

“We are absolutely thrilled with his,” Quinto said. “Our customers are happy, our crafters, our vendors … we’re all just very happy and very grateful.  

“That building is 52 years old. It won’t be the same to have our own heat and air!” she added with a laugh. 

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