Old gym could become farmers market

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Looking for a way save the old town gym, the Kenbridge Town Council has decided to apply for funds to turn the building into a farmer’s market.

“We’ll convert it into an indoor farmers market if we get the money,” Mayor Emory Hodges said during the council’s Tuesday, March 15, meeting.

The decision to apply for grant money to convert the gym to house the farmers market could address two issues.

In February, the council said they would like to increase the attraction of the farmers market and, thus, are considering making changes to its site and operation — including relocating it to an uptown building or lot.

Consequently, the council is seeking input from the participating farmers.

Located near the town offices on East 5th Avenue and next door to the gymnasium, the farmers market runs June 13-Oct. 31 and is open every Saturday — rain or shine — from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the

town’s website notes.

Vendors rent a 10 x 10 space and pay either $5 per day or $50 per year. They are responsible for providing tables, equipment, shelter and displays for their merchandise, and any signs must pertain to vendor’s item and must be located within vendor’s space, the website notes.

Applying for the grant is possibly a last-ditch effort to save a facility that most certainly has a special place in Kenbridge history, Hodges said.

“The building was used by practically everybody who grew up in this town,” he said.

But that was then. Now, the building sits vacant, decaying, and — town officially reluctantly admit — its existence possibly nearing an end.

“We shouldn’t give up on the gym as a town,” Hodges said. “We should give it a couple more shots, look at finding some grant money; and if we can’t do anything with it, maybe look at option B, which might be demolish it.”