In August of 2014, the inaugural Biddeford Ball raised nearly $20,000 from the local community. The ball was conceived of by Roxi Suger, a fashion designer who opened a storefront on Alfred Street and a production facility in the Pepperell Mill Campus in 2014. Of the $20,000 raised through individual community members who attended or supported the benefit, $5,000 was distributed to Seeds of Hope, Stone Soup, and Saco Meals through Union Church Missions. The remaining funds of $14,400, were donated to Engine and earmarked for the exterior renovation of the Marble Block. Engine agreed to use the funds to create a lighting installation to dress up the facade of the building while the building undergoes development planning. Following is work done to the facade, some visible, while the rest is design work required for a historic tax credit project:
- $4,714: Removed two layers of the existing facade to expose the original building and iron i-beam which required a demo permit.
- $2,500: an interior kinetic LED lighting installation in the storefront which will be ongoing until construction requires the dismantling.
- $6350: Contracted with Sutherland Conservation & Consulting to provide historic preservation and architectural conservation services including navigating the federal and state Historic Tax Credits, National Register, HABS/HAER and Maine Historic Building Record documentation, preservation and restoration planning, historic interiors and paint analysis.
- $13,564 of the $14,400 Biddeford ball funds have been expended. The remaining $836 went into covering carrying costs of the building which amount to approximately $10-15K annually.
Engine is grateful for the funds raised by the community and grants from the City of Biddeford to support this project and looks forward to celebrating the opening of this community space.