The City of Hagerstown announces the beginning of construction for the anticipated Urban Improvement Project. This project consists of enhancements to portions of downtown that will expand art, events, and education venues. During the eighteen-month construction schedule, the community should anticipate traffic congestion and delays.The UIP involves the expansion of the Maryland Theatre and of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts (BISFA) on S. Potomac Street. The Theatre’s current box office will be demolished to make way for a four-story addition across the front, creating an improved lobby, concession stands, restrooms, and better handicap accessibility. The project includes demolishing 13-17 S. Potomac Street in order to adjoin a new, five-story building to the BISFA. Behind the school and the Theatre, the City will develop a 20,000 sq. ft. outdoor plaza for events, leisure, and other uses.Due to limited space for contractors’ equipment, the right lane of S. Potomac Street will be closed to traffic between Washington Street and Antietam Street. This closure is anticipated to last from the beginning of demolition on July 2, 2018, until completion of construction by the end of 2019. There will also be times in which this block will temporarily close to all vehicular traffic in order to allow deliveries of large construction materials. The City will post Traffic Advisories and detour routes in advance of these total closures. The sidewalk on the eastern side of the street will remain open at all times so patrons and customers can visit businesses located on this block.Upon completion of the Urban Improvement Project, Downtown Hagerstown will have transformed to create an impressive performing arts complex, a space for the community to gather, and more opportunities for a plethora of students.For more information on the closures, please contact the City’s Department of Parks and Engineering at 301-739-8577 extension 125.