The old EMS building, located on Spring Street in Friday Harbor, will become an art museum. The acquisition of the building by the San Juan Islands Museum of Art was unanimously accepted by the San Juan County Hospital District #1 board at their April 24 meeting.
Jim Cole, Chief of the San Juan Island EMS, stated “This is an absolute win-win. We are taking a public building and keeping it as an exciting new public building.” Chief Cole also added that he has talked with the Wilson family and they are very pleased that it will become a wonderful museum in our community.
The building was originally dedicated to family member, Frank Wilson. San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) Board members Charlie Bodenstab and Jack Yelverton thanked the Board of Commissioners, Chief Jim Cole, and Dr. J. Michael Edwards for their excellent due diligence during the three-year period of discussions regarding the purchase.
The IMA Board has set as a priority the creation of a façade for the front of the building that will convert it from the very noble, but utilitarian image, consistent with the mission of the EMS organization, to an exciting and inviting art museum.
The purchase of this building is a major commitment to the community to provide an accredited visual arts museum in Friday Harbor, serving the San Juan Islands. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art’s mission is to connect people with art that inspires, challenges, enlightens and educates.
The IMA was established in February 2005 and is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.