Appalshop buys building above floodplain

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 10:49 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 11:30 PM EDT
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Staff with Appalshop confirmed the non-profit organization bought a 11,500-square foot building above the floodplain.

The building is a former hospital and private home in Jenkins and sits on nearly five acres of land.

“When approached with this opportunity, we knew we couldn’t pass it up. We have yet to decide whether this is our forever home, but it offers us the chance to regroup and plan for our long-term future. It will also allow us to expand our footprint across both Jenkins and Whitesburg,” Operations Director Roger May explained.

The iconic Appalshop building in Whitesburg and the archives stored inside were heavily damaged during the July 2022 flood.

Renovation and usage plans have not been finalized.

“I am excited for the opportunities and possibilities. The city of Jenkins understands that any move is still in the planning stages, but we look forward to what is best for Appalshop and the community,” Jenkins Mayor Todd DePriest said.

The non-profit also secured temporary office space in Whitesburg and Jenkins.

“Change is difficult, especially when reimagining a space that has housed our ideas, hopes, and stories for over 40 years,” says Alex Gibson, Appalshop’s Executive Director. “To create our best work, in the revolutionary spirit of Appalshop, we need, foremost, a safe location with enough room to collaborate with the community.”