The Houston County Farm Center renovation process is now in the preliminary design phase.
“Since this thing has gotten going, I’ve heard so many good stories about this building,” Andy Gosselin with Gosselin Architecture said. “If you’ve been here long enough, you know the Farm Center is a historical cultural center. We want to restore it back to being an important place for events.”
On Monday, Gosselin met with the Houston County Commission in a work session to discuss potential plans for the 32,000-square-foot property. All parties agreed that the building will be a multi-purpose space to hold events such as concerts, farmers’ markets, sporting events, weddings, and much more.
Aside from talking about ideas, commissioners discussed who would operate the Farm Center. At the end of the meeting, the commission agreed to lease the property to an organization that would hire an individual to run it.
People are also reading…
“I am not in favor of having county employees over there operating this,” Houston County chairman Brandon Shoupe said. “We’ve had that before and it didn’t work out well. I think the best way to do this would be to have an organization lease the space from us for an amount that we’ll negotiate. Then they can hire someone to keep the place booked up and they can operate it.”
In the preliminary design stage, renderings and drawings will be created for the county commission to review. If the design gets approved, blueprints will be drawn up and renovations could begin shortly thereafter.
“Our next stage is developing the design,” Gosselin said. “It should take about two months to figure out what spaces need to be there and once we complete the drawings, they will be available for the public to view online.”
Construction may also begin during the design phase.
“Currently we’re talking with the county about performing some of the demolition work themselves,” Gosselin said. “There is a possibility that we may see some action while we’re still designing.”
Gosselin believes it could take nine months to a year to complete the renovation process once it begins. In the end, he hopes to preserve most of the building’s history.
“You’ll still recognize it,” Gosselin said. “It will have its iconic shape with the barrel roof and the beams inside, but it will definitely be more spacious.”