4-H makes a pitch for facility to accommodate meeting and programming challenges

The Board of Supervisors got a look at a proposal from the county’s 4-H club volunteers and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service (VCE) staff that could alleviate meeting and programming challenges that club leaders say they are having.

Club leaders are proposing the county consider helping develop a Youth/Agriculture/Workforce Development (YAWD) facility that could serve as meeting and programming space for the 4-H clubs and other community groups, and office and storage space for the VCE staff.

It could also serve as an agriculture/education facility and provide for workforce development opportunities through 4-H, Extension Service and other programs— a K-life workforce development center, County Administrator Gary Larrowe called it.

Botetourt 4-H Outdoor Skills Club and 4-H Shooting Education Club volunteer Ed McCoy and 4-H Youth Development Agent Katherine Carter were scheduled to give presentations on the proposed facility during the evening session when the supervisors met Tuesday.

They also presented what Carter and McCoy called a concept plan or draft of what a floor plan for the proposed facility might look like. That plan was developed by Engineering Concepts Inc. with the county’s assistance.

There is not cost estimate because the plan is very conceptual, McCoy said.

It’s possible the facility could be located at Botetourt Center at Greenfield, although that’s not firm.

Carter went through an overview of the 4-H programming that includes 10 community clubs. Of those, several have had problems getting suitable space for their programs; and all are dependent on being able to use limited meeting and programming space such at the Fincastle Firehouse and Fincastle Community Room.

Carter said other clubs have not started because of the lack of meeting facilities.

The presentation was the result of a request by Supervisor Dr. Mac Scothorn who asked McCoy to return to the board with what the 4-H clubs’ meeting needs after he asked the supervisors to consider 4-H when the board held a December public hearing on adding a Parks, Recreation, Greenways and Blueways section to the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

The conceptual plan includes meeting and program spaces, VCE offices, storage for the VCE and 4-H clubs, a kitchen and restrooms.

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