"We just thought about owning a shop someday. We never really dreamed that we would end up buying a school." When the former West Louisville Elementary School went up for auction, Jennifer Higdon, says she had to buy it. "I could just see exactly what I wanted to do with it. I think it took a lot of convincing of other people. You're going to do what with an old school?"
She and her mother bought the building in 2012, and embarked on a passion Higdon says, she has always had. "When I drive around, and I see these vacant buildings, I always have these ideas for what can be done with them," says Higdon. Now, the thirty-nine thousand square foot school, is called 'Preservation Station.'
"We really didn't tell a whole lot of people because it is really a big, crazy, quirky, kind of dream," says Higdon. That quirky dream turned reality as Higdon's vision turned classrooms into boutiques. She turns an old gymnasium into a home for vendors, antiques, and crafts. Higdon says creating a place like that reminds people of the 'good ole days' when a community thrived off one another.
An age where out with the old, and in with the new, is not the case. "Most everything now days gets tore down. I like it refurbished." Vendor's like, Rickey West, agree some things are just better with age. "This old cabinet here is probably from the 1930's. These are old oak."
"I think it's great. I think shop local, stay local, help out the local people," says Monica Scott. She believes, Jennifer's outside of the box idea, has drawn the community together. "Not only does it introduce people to local people, but they can make relationships and they can keep coming back," says Scott.
"I just hope if we can achieve our dream, it will encourage more people to take a risk and achieve their dreams," Higdon says.
Higdon says she's hoping to add a restaurant that would serve local farm fresh food in the lower level of the school. She also hopes to add a fitness center in the future.
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