Aging MARC building undergoes renovations

The Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC), located at 111 East 100 North, has been undergoing renovations that staff members say will make the space more beautiful and inviting. The MARC, established in 1997, works to build a creative community in Moab by offering education, art, recreation, and cultural programs. The MARC also functions as a rentable venue for local events.

“Our hope is that the MARC will be so beautiful that people will be excited to have their events here,” said Meg Stewart, Director of the MARC. “We want it to be more welcoming, professional and comfortable.”

Recently, staff turned a side-yard of bare dirt into a concrete patio with help from Straightline Contracting, which they hope will be ideal for hosting outdoor events. They also acquired an outdoor stage for performances, a grill, and patio furniture. “The MARC patio will be the hottest wedding venue in town before we know it,” said Stewart. “With the stage and grill, guests will be able to host parties and barbecues with ease.”

The MARC also commissioned six bench-boxes custom made by local artist Tim McAllister. “They’re really beautiful boxes that function as both benches and tables, depending on event needs,” said Stewart. “Each of the boxes stores tables inside, and they roll and lock in place to adjust to any event.” McAllister also designed and built the MARC sign displayed over the entrance to the building. According to Stewart, McAllister’s sign, which embodies both rustic and modern elements, has been a design touchstone for staff members as decisions are made about the MARC’s aesthetics.

The inside of the MARC has also been improved recently. The kitchen is currently being remodeled, including a set of new kitchen appliances. The stage room, where many community events are held, has been updated and repainted. “We redid the stage room ourselves,” explained Liz Holland, the MARC Assistant. “It was so much fun. It looks like a whole new room now.”

New improvements are underway or forthcoming. “The bathrooms will be redone in August, and the windows will follow soon,” said Holland. The inside of the MARC will also receive a fresh coat of paint and a set of new furniture. Swamp coolers will be replaced with central air conditioning. All of the lighting fixtures at the MARC will also be replaced with energy efficient lighting by September.

“Replacing all the lights will be a game-changer,” said Holland. “We’re especially excited to update the lighting in the gallery space to better feature artworks on display.”

When considering renovations, staff members aim to respect the historic nature of the building that we now know as the MARC. “We want to honor the history of the building while bringing it into this century,” said Stewart. The MARC building, constructed in 1926, was originally an early Mormon church in Moab.

Stewart explained that renovations to the MARC have been ongoing, and will continue for some time. “We’re taking it one project at a time, but hopefully our high-priority renovations will be finished by summer 2019.”

ByBy Emily Lawson

The Times-Independent