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Hull

Vacant police barracks could become arts center

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is giving Hull Artists $22,000 to help determine whether the long-empty state police barracks across from Nantasket Beach can be turned into a regional community arts center.

Hull Artists, a local nonprofit, must raise an equal amount of money to pay for the study. The group has raised about $10,000 and plans to ask the town to contribute money through its Community Preservation Fund, according to Bart Blumberg, Hull Artists president.

The state-owned building at 213 Nantasket Ave. was built in the 1930s and served as a station for first the State Police, and then the Department of Conservation and Recreation police. It has been vacant since 1992.

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Hull Artists has proposed using the site for classrooms and performance and gallery space and calling it the Nantasket Center for the Arts.

“A regional center for the arts can provide an important anchor for the town, drawing people from across the region, increasing tourism, and economic development,” said Irwin Nesoff, who is on the board of Hull Artists. “Currently, a vacant building does none of this.”

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.