Renovation begins to turn Elliston’s old fire station into food pantry/thrift store
ELLISTON — Gold-painted sledgehammers smacked into old paneling Wednesday inside the former Elliston fire station as community leaders ceremonially began renovation of the structure into a food pantry and thrift store.
“Following the ceremonial wall-smashing, we’ll proceed to the ceremonial asbestos removal,” joked Michael Hemphill, executive director of the Mountain Valley Charitable Foundation, which is overseeing the remake of the building.
About 40 people turned out to watch the project’s kickoff and to look at drawings of how the building is to look when finished, with a new facade facing U.S. 460.
Last year, the foundation bought the firehouse from Montgomery County for $5,000.
This year, the foundation announced it also acquired adjoining land for a parking lot and was in discussions with the Virginia Department of Transportation about road rights-of-way that restrict corners of the firehouse property. Hemphill said the foundation has raised $120,000 of the estimated $220,000 needed for the project.
Hemphill said work is beginning before the funds are raised because the foundation is confident that donors will support it. He said that the plan is to have the food pantry housed in the renovated firehouse before its present home in the Shawsville Middle School annex is demolished next year.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1669
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