New plans have been released for the future of a former printery in Atascadero.
The Atascadero Printery is a 19,000 square foot building which was built in 1915 and is currently listed by the National Register of Historic Places.
The printery is also considered the oldest civic building in Atascadero.
The Atascadero Printery Foundation, a non-profit organization in Atascadero, purchased the building in May of 2017 to preserve the history of the structure while also catering to the needs of the city.
“The building was falling apart so we stopped that damage, we’ve got some temporary shoring in, and now we’ve completed our plan for retrofit,” said Atascadero Printery Foundation President Karen McNamara.
“It’s into the city for permits and we’re ready to start,” said McNamara.
“We have actually done all the engineering to reinforce the building, plastering the walls to strengthen them in an earthquake,” said Atascadero Printery Project Architect, Greg Ravatt.
The history of the printery is something the foundation is pushing to preserve.
“They printed a women’s journal that actually had the largest circulation of any magazine in the United States,” said Ravatt.
The new plans for the structure are to revitalize the interior of the building, turning it into a performing arts center.
“It’s a community center focusing on the arts and education,” said McNamara. “We’re hoping to have art classes for not just kids but all ages. We’re looking at talking to the senior center about having senior lunches here, a public facility anyone can rent and use, and the theatre with a lot of different activities.”
“The idea is to do a structural repair so it’s not a hazardous building and our next phase would be to start building the infrastructure for a performing art center,” said Ravatt.
Atascadero residents are expected to play a key role in bringing the building back to life.
“We just did a fundraising campaign starting in November that went through the end of the year and we did get support from about 250 people that did participate in that,” said McNamara.
“It is going to be a lot of local work and we would definitely have a preference for local contractors and local tradesmen,” said Ravatt.
Structural repair on the Atascadero Printery is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
The Atascadero Printery Foundation is seeking $1.5 million dollars to complete the operation.
The foundation has received $250,000 dollars.
If the foundation can reach its goal of $1.5 million dollars, the red tag from the building would be removed and public access would be allowed in the building.
For more information on how to donate to the foundation, visit their website at www.atascaderoprintery.org.