Main Street Hardy needs help renovating new headquarters - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Main Street Hardy needs help renovating new headquarters

HARDY, AR (KAIT) – The non-profit group called Main Street Hardy formed 20 years ago to promote and preserve the town's historic downtown area.

The group has finally moved its headquarters into the historic Bigger's building on Main Street, but the building is far from being move-in ready.

Main Street Hardy plans to open its new headquarters to the public by August, an ambitious goal considering how neglected the building was. What the group needs now are volunteers to help complete this restoration project.

"We're making progress. We're real close," Al Corte said, who serves as executive director of Main Street Hardy. "We're about 30 days away from opening the doors."

Corte has gotten his hands dirty along with some faithful volunteers to fully renovate the nearly 6,000 square foot, two-story facility, located at the corner of Spring and Main Streets.

The non-profit group has searched for a permanent home ever since it started in 1993. The group has bounced from one place to the next over the years. Its officers are currently housed in the basement of the historic gym in Hardy until the renovations at the Bigger's building are completed.

The construction crews have so far addressed several major structural issues at the new facility, including reinforcing the mezzanine level that connects the first and second floors by stairs. They still have to clear out and clean up the second floor, which will eventually house offices, a conference area and an open event space.

On the main level, crews have almost filled all the cracks in the walls, but they still have to paint and finish building a stage in the front window. The first floor will double as a visitor information center and an open meeting area, where the group will likely host its weekly bingo games.  

The owner of the Bigger's building agreed to lease the building to Main Street Hardy at no cost for a year. Corte says any improvements the group makes during that time will be deducted from the purchase price.

"Twelve months from now when we sit down with the owner, we'll have quite a bit of repairs that have been done to this building," he said. "It will reduce our cost significantly. I think it's going to be a win-win for everybody."

With the tentative opening date looming, Corte says any and all help is needed.

"I want to thank those who have participated, and I sure do encourage those to come on board and help participate to get this rocking," he said.

"It's encouraging to see that when there's something that's significant, people do step up," he added. "We're seeing that, and it's a good warm feeling."

Main Street Hardy plans to host a volunteer day in the next few weeks so that it can complete painting and several other projects.

If anyone would like to help out, visit this link or call Al Corte at 870-635-2113.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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