Downtown Building Renovated for Community Events

December 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bobby McCormick, Mike Foster, Pat and George Bullard (Photo by Suzanne Williams)

DeKalb County now has a building available for non-profit groups to have special community events, thanks to George and Pat Bullard of the Lifeworks and Healing Stones Foundation.

An "Off the Beaten Path Studio" Reception and Exhibition was held Tuesday evening at the newly renovated building formerly owned by Lavelle Smith and located on the north side of the public square, next door to the Chamber of Commerce office.

After purchasing the property from the Smith family, the Bullards started a renovation of the building, which has recently been completed. "Pat and I were driving around and saw Lavelle's building, which we had taken notice of for years. There were some folks here working with a project called "Empty Bowls" and we were looking for a place for them to have a studio in a public setting, so we found this building and later talked to Will Smith, Lavelle's son and then to Mrs. Smith and the family agreed to sell it to us and that's really how it came about," according to George Bullard.

"That was the inspiration for the beginning of this building, because of our interest in the "Empty Bowls" Project and our partnership with the state craft organization. We were already working up here with the Butternut Valley UT project so the artists of Smithville, we already knew. But it's now evolved into something quite different. It will be what the community wants it to be, primarily starting with the craft artists, but really the kind of thing we welcome are community oriented non-profit efforts", said Pat Bullard

County Mayor Mike Foster, who donated some of his time to help project manager Bobby McCormick in the renovation, says the building is something of which the community can be proud. "It's about 5500 square feet, about 105 feet by 50 feet. There's also a little green space off to the side of the building behind the Chamber building. It's kind of a unique green garden space that adds to it. It's really a pretty building and I'm happy to donate my time to them to help do this because they (Bullards) have done a lot of really good things for the community and we appreciate that so much."

George Bullard says both he and Pat want to thank Foster and McCormick for their help. "It wouldn't have gotten done without Mike and Bobby. They have built it for us. Bobby has been here everyday and has really helped to shepherd the thing along. We're really grateful for that."

For more information concerning the use of the new Healing Stones/Lifeworks Building, contact Project Manager Bobby McCormick at 597-5418.

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