After more than 24 years of serving Belfast’s art community and 17 years on the city’s waterfront in the building previously used as a railroad warehouse, the Belfast Maskers has announced that the group will be moving out of the building — but not out of the community.

The building is in such disrepair — especially the foundation — that neither the owner (the city of Belfast) nor the tenants (the Maskers) are willing or able to bring it up to the standard that would allow any insurance company to offer coverage, according to a press release from the Maskers.

Therefore, as of May 30, 2012, the Maskers will have moved out of that space. The building is insured at present, according to the group, but no productions will be held there and the space will be used only for theater camp, rehearsals and storage.

The Maskers is presently in talks with two alternative sites where productions could be mounted and both are looking very promising, according to the group’s press release. The 2011 season will continue uninterrupted.

“As sad as it is to leave the wonderfully funky space where so many people have enjoyed so many hours of fun, it is exciting to know that in their 25th year Maskers will reinvent themselves in a fresh, new, modern environment,” said Belfast Maskers Theater Artistic Director Aynne Ames, in the press release.

Ames said that in the coming months, more information will unfold concerning where the Maskers might relocate and what might happen to the present space.