By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
It’s going to take some time, sure, but to the network of volunteers and officials taking part in the effort, restoring an historic structure is well worth the wait.
On Saturday, the Floyd Action Network held a yard sale and restoration event for the Emery’s Ice Cream Shop building.
Last year, it was moved to the corner of 8th Street and Culbertson Avenue, and the plan is to revitalize the building so that it can be used as an education center for the adjoining Urban Fusion Community Garden.
“We just decided that we wanted to take over the renovation. We want to get it up to speed,” said Judy Martin, vice president of Floyd Action Network, or FAN.
The project involves three different entities, as the building is owned by the Floyd County Historical Society, the property belongs to Indiana Landmarks, and FAN is in charge of the renovation.
Martin said the goal is to make the corner of 8th and Culbertson a bright spot in the neighborhood, which is incorporated into the Midtown revitalization effort.
Along with the community garden and Emery’s Ice Cream building, Indiana Landmarks owns the corner structure, which was purchased in part with public funds.
The corner building has been refurbished and Indiana Landmarks is seeking a tenant for the property.
Martin said having a produce and food preparation education center and a community garden adjacent to it should make the corner of 8th and Culbertson stick out for the right reasons.
“I just think a community this size, with a neighborhood like this, needs a meeting spot [and] a production spot for food,” she said.
Floyd County resident and FAN member Garry Teigland is overseeing the construction end of the Emery’s restoration effort.
The refurbishment is being funded through donations and money raised by FAN, and Teigland said volunteers are earnestly sought to assist with repairs to the building.
“We’ll be doing more as we raise funds,” he said.
Siding repair, a new door and handicap-accessible ramps are among the additions planned for the exterior of the Emery’s building.
New windows will also be added, and they were donated by Fred Aemmer of Caldwell Sash Co.
Inside, Teigland said a counter and other improvements will be installed to make it conducive for its intended use.
“It will be something that we can use for a classroom setting,” he said.
Greg Sekula, southern regional office director for Indiana Landmarks, said the garden and education center will support each other once the project is finished.
“It’s really a collaborative effort here, and we just want this to be a community restoration for New Albany,” he said.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating to the project, please contact FAN via email at FAN@floydactionnetwork.org.