VACAVILLE — Volunteers showed up Monday at Vacaville’s old bus station on Mason Street to begin the process of fixing up and recycling the structure that will become the new home of the Center of Imaginative Reuse.
A morning chill did not stop the volunteers from picking up paint brushes, hammers, brooms, rakes and wash cloths to breathe new life into the building that has been vacant for the past two years.
It certainly proved to be a boost to former Vacaville Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ball’s efforts to revive the bus stop at 1040 Mason St., as the new home for the Center for Imaginative Reuse. The bus station was closed in 2011 when Greyhound discontinued service to Vacaville.
Ball envisions the center as a place to collect, store and redistribute recycled materials from paper and cardboard cones to buttons and fabric at low cost for crafters, artists and community arts programs.
The Vacaville City Council will vote Tuesday on a four-year lease with the Park and Recreation Trust, which oversees the Center for Imaginative Reuse. The lease, if approved, will allow the center to use the station for the first year in return for fixing it up. The city will get $500 a month in rent for the next three years.
Ball said he hopes to have the center open by mid-March to give local artists a place to come to find recycled materials, take advantage of classes and display art made from recycled materials. He also plans to get a mobile art van running, which will take recycled art programs to Solano County’s communities.
“We particularly want to work with our young artists,” Ball said.
Several dozen volunteers from Kaiser Permanente, the Chamber of Commerce, Organizing for America, Recology, the Women of the Moose and the city of Vacaville showed up Monday to paint walls. wash windows, pull out weeds and rake up leaves at the old bus station under the supervision of Rebuilding Together Solano County.
The old bus station was one of three sites being coordinated by Rebuilding Together as part of the day of service linked to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Volunteers were also helping out at the Travis Air Museum and the Mare Island Historical Museum.
One of those volunteers helping out in Vacaville was Ivonne Vaughn, who said she pitched in because she thought the idea of turning the building into a center to help artists, especially young ones, was an excellent idea.
Alison Landis came down from Dixon to help out as one of the group of Kaiser employees who chose to spend their day off from work helping out.
“This is all for our community,” Landis said. “We are going to stay here today until everything is done.”
Linda Bridges and her daughter Asia Bridges were also helping out, cleaning the accumulation of leaves out of the bus stop’s parking area.
“It is a great thing to give back to the community,” Linda Bridges said. Her daughter was there to earn credits for her government class. “And it’s good to teach the young this,” Linda Bridges said.
At the Travis Air Museum, a team of about 30 volunteers washed aircraft on display, cleaned the grounds, built new stanchions for museum signs and painted much of the museum’s interior walls.
“Their work has been absolutely superb. The airplanes have never looked this good,” museum curator Terry Juran said. ”I can not express how helpful they have been. We have taken a big leap forward because of what they have done.”
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.