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The Grant County Extension Office finally has a new home.
There’ll be no more digging through stacks of cardboard boxes or shifting boxes around in a portable storage unit to find program materials for Grant County’s three extension agents.
The agents and office staff moved into their new $1.4 million home at 105 Baton Rouge Road in Williamstown on April 8.
“It is exciting,” said Joyce Doyle, the county’s extension agent for 4-H. “I didn’t think I’d live to see it.”
The path to a new 7,900 square foot building has been bumpy and long, but the wait was worth the end result, the agents said.
“You’d have days where you’d think it’s coming and then days that you thought it wouldn’t get here and then I woke up and it was here,” said Chris Ammerman, Grant County’s Extension Agent for Agriculture.
The move and new building came about three years ago after the extension council opted to join the Grant County Fair in purchasing property on Baton Rouge Road for a new fairgrounds and extension building.
The extension service sold its home on South Main Street to the Grant County Fiscal Court for $300,000, which was to become the county’s new justice center.
The extension service operated from cramped quarters, 1,500 square feet, inside the former location of Cherry Hill Mobile Home Sales while the plans and construction were completed at the 19-acre site.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Sept. 21, 2007. Construction on the building began in October 2008.
During that time extension programs were held throughout the community in any space available.
“If it wasn’t for the generosity of this community and their unselfishness, we wouldn’t have survived the last three years,” Doyle said. “Businesses gave us their keys for meetings and programs. Now we’re hoping to give back to the community by inviting them to use our facility and come to our programs.”
The new facility is composed of metal sides and a brick front. It is three times the size of the old extension service building, which means the extension service can offer more meeting space and more programs. Additional land means there’s an opportunity for future expansion and an outdoor environmental classroom.
It also contains offices, meeting rooms and a demonstration kitchen.
“We’re glad and happy to be in our new home,” said Patty Poor, extension agent for home economics.