CENTREVILLE — Students from the Wye River Upper School photography class ventured out of their classroom to the nearby site of their future home, the Centreville Armory, to document the return of a small piece of Queen Anne’s history. They captured the installation of the structure’s original steel-cased windows, including panes of glass that have reflected the lives of local men who, in past decades, marched within its walls.
The original windows have been salvaged as a requirement of an $824,000 Maryland Sustainable Communities Grant, administered by the State of Maryland Historic Preservation office. As part of the massive renovation project, all 90 windows were removed, refurbished and are now being placed back to their rightful place in the brick exterior.
James Martinez, Wye River Upper School’s director of art and technology, led the students in capturing images that show the progress of the transformation.
“The armory, for me, shows how far we’ve come and how far we are going. It’s a metaphor for what we do with our students everyday. We are taking something that has slipped through the cracks and transforming it. It’s going to be amazing. I’ve already got so many plans,” Martinez said.
The students took notice of the repointed brick work, the interior demolition and the beginnings of the elevator shaft.
“We are always looking for new avenues to provide our students with enrichment learning. Bringing the photography class to this construction site, gives them an opportunity to see and capture, first hand, the metamorphosis happening to this historic icon in Centreville,” said Chrissy Aull, founder and executive director of Wye River Upper School.
Wye River Upper School, currently housed on the Chesapeake College campus, has raised $3.6 million of its $5 million capital campaign goal. Another $1 million in donations and pledges is necessary in order for the school to open its new doors in the fall of 2014.
“This project is important to the life of the school — it will provide a permanent home, opportunities to expand the number of at-risk youth we serve and will increase our academic and extracurricular offerings. We intend to restore the armory to it’s role as a hub of the community it once was — a place where dances, community gatherings and athletic events took place,” said Aull.
For more information, contact Liz LaCorte at 410-827-3405