Vernon Community Arts Center board members gathered at First Niagara’s Vernon branch on Hartford Turnpike on Sept. 13 to thank representatives from the bank for a recent $5,000 donation. Pictured are, back row, from left, Jim Bzdyra, Bill Checkosky and Nathan Gompper of First Niagara and Paul Shimer (VCAC). Front row from left, Mellisa Ralston-Jones (VCAC), Ginny Gingras (VCAC), Mary Ann Ludtke (First Niagara), Claudia Ayer (VCAC), Irma Carter (VCAC) and Lori Robeau (VCAC). Credit First Niagara

Add a donation by First Niagara bank to the list of grant bestowed upon the Vernon Community Arts Center.

The bank recently presented a check for $5,000 to offset the costs associated with converting the building into a modern arts center.

The building was constructed in 1927 as the County Home School for children and it served in that capacity until 1950, when its students were integrated into the Vernon school system.

The building also housed kindergarten and adult education classes over the years.

The conversion has an estimated price tag of $1.7 million and it is being funded by two state grants.

In 2008, the town received a $300,000 grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and lat last year, Vernon received $1.5 million from the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Construction is slated for a single phase and completion is targeted for late fall.   The architectural firm of Quisenberry Arcari designed the building and A. Secondino & Son Inc. is the general contractor.

Mayor Jason McCoy said the center will be the most up-to-date in Tolland County and it will feature a multi-purpose performance space, gallery space, meeting rooms and classrooms.