Four years after Elkin’s initial planning meeting on development of a heritage and trails center, the town again is seeking guidance from the public on information to be exhibited in the new center.
Leslie Schlender, Elkin’s economic development director, said Monday that the main construction on the structure is complete.
The next step is designing and implementing a plan for the exhibits in the facility, which will serve a three-fold purpose — being a visitors center, home to the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce and a cultural arts and trails venue.
On Nov. 30, the town will host an hour-and-a-half input session, welcoming members of the public to RSVP for the lunch event by this Friday to plan for food and seating needs.
“The exhibit display planning is for everyone in the community to list themes, ideas and stories the displays need to tell in the center, and what does the chamber need for electronic displays on the business side, and for a heritage/trails side,” Schlender said.
Design Dimensions Inc. is facilitating the meeting, and has been contracted to draw out the schematics and then build the actual displays and exhibits.
This is the same company that did the Kerr Scott Reservoir visitors center displays and has been contracted to do the Pilot Mountain State Park’s new visitors center, Schlender said. “They’ve done work on either side of the Yadkin Valley, so they have that information learning curve.”
She said they also know the town’s budget constraints and can adjust as they move through the process.
Once the input session has been held, a steering committee, which already has been selected, will meet to follow up on the ideas and decide on how to proceed.
The input meeting will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the center, 257 Standard St., the former location of the Smith-Phillips Lumber Building.
“We will have introduction and get to know Design Dimensions and see samples of their work, and then we’ll go over the vision of the center and all the roles that the facility will have to cover. It won’t be just a visitor center, or business center, or trails center, it will be all of that,” Schlender said.
The presentations will be followed by a working lunch where participants will have a chance to write down ideas for the exhibits, which the public group will then work to prioritize. “In your view, what are the top three stories that have to be told?” Schlender asked as an example of prioritization.
She said no definitive opening date has been set for the new center, although the overall goal “in an ideal world,” is to be in by the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival in May.
“We don’t want to commit to anything, because we need to find funding to build displays,” Schlender said. “Hopefully we’ll make it, but we want what goes in the center to make an impression, we want to open with an atmosphere.”
To reserve a spot for the input session, contact Schlender or leave a message at 336-794-6468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.