The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 15, 2012

Old school to transform into farmer’s market, community center

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

— A farmer’s market, community center and emergency shelter will soon be established in the old Beaver Elementary School.

Earl Long, founder and executive director of Beaver Enterprise Center, said the market will be open Labor Day weekend for the Annual Beaver Block Sale.

“I’ve been working on this project for over a year,” Long said. “The building was an eyesore and I decided to do some research and try to turn the place around.”

Long began working with the USDA to secure grant money to purchase and renovate the property, located on 490 Blue Jay Road, behind Sheetz in Beaver.

A Rural Business Enterprise Grant was issued in the amount of $121,700 for the project.

“It’s going to be a very nice project,” Long said. “Community members are really excited about it. I’ve received several letters of support.”

He has already been talking to local farmers and several vendors who are interested in setting up shop at the new farmer’s market.

The market will kick off Labor Day weekend with live music, lots of food and games for kids.

Eventually, Long said he hopes to have the building open six days a week, and even a few hours on Sunday.

Not only will the location be great to provide fresh produce and meats to the community, Long said, but it will also provide a shelter in case of emergencies, such as flooding or power outages.

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