Construction is ahead of schedule for the new American Legion Post 126 building on Old Cranston Road behind MSU’s Support Services Complex.
"We are at the stage where crews have started insulating the walls and I would think from there we're probably within two months of moving in," said Harry Clark, commander of Corbie Ellington Post 126. "We believe we're going to get in early."
The post hired Jackson Builders of Morehead to build the new facility with a scheduled completion date of July 1.
"Jackson Builders has an excellent group of guys," Clark said. "They're doing a good job as well and are moving right along with it. They've been really easy to work with. They're really accomodating to us. I believe they're mostly veterans."
The new building was designed by Doug McLoney, a member of Post 126 and former partner in a major Lexington architectural firm.
The new, 5,003-square foot building is a single story. The current facility, located at 110 Bishop Ave. is two stories and only 3,000 square feet, of which 2,500 is usable. It was built in the 1940s and has been renovated once in the last 20 years.
Clark said the current building is not very conducive to the Legion's disabled members.
Also, parking is nearly non-existent.
"We can handle about 14 vehicles legally," Clark said. "That's all we have. We'll have so much parking at the new facility. If we had 25 spots out there we'd be overwhelmed, but I think the plans call for 60 vehicles. We're out of sight, out of mind. If we had a huge crowd, we could overflow on our street, so I think it's endless parking."
The new meeting space will be available for wedding receptions and parties, Clark said.
"I have talked with the Rowan County Historical Society," Clark said. "They are interested in it as a non-profit organization. We constantly get requests from Legion members for baby showers, wedding receptions, weddings and stuff we just can't accomodate at the current location."
Clark said the cost of renting the facility will depend upon the group.
"If it's a non-profit organization in the same boat the Legion is in, we know we're all struggling for money, so we're probably going to give them a little slack," he said. "If it's somebody for a wedding reception, it'll still be at a reasonable, affordable price."
American Legion members will be able to rent the facility at a discounted rate, Clark said.
"It's a bright, cheerier place," Clark said. "Rowan Fiscal Court is going to donate a flag pole that was left from the old, old court house. So when the county moved out, the university agreed to let us take the flag pole down."
The new post location is the result of a land swap and sale with Morehead State University. MSU traded one acre of land behind its Support Services Center at the north city limits to the Legion in exchange for the current post building on Bishop Street.
The Legion property included open space where two residences were removed. It is now a parking lot for the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, the building previously used as the county library.
"The university is going to put up a sign as part of our agreement," Clark said. "Caudill Signs is in the process of working on it now. I think everybody's on board. We're really excited about it."
Nicole Back can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.